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High School Sports

LaVar Ball says he’s launching basketball league for high school graduates

LaVar Ball on Wednesday revealed plans to launch a basketball league for high-profile players who have graduated from high school but do not want to attend college.

Ball says the Junior Basketball Association will be fully funded by Big Baller Brand. The plan is to pay the lowest-ranked players a $3,000-per-month salary. Meanwhile, the best player would earn $10,000 per month, according to an ESPN report. Ball is seeking out 80 players to fill the rosters for 10 teams.

“Getting these players is going to be easy,” Ball told ESPN. “This is giving guys a chance to get a jump start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts, and we’re going to pay them because someone has to pay these kids.”

Ball admitted inspiration for the league came in part due to critical comments by NCAA president Mark Emmert when the elder Ball pulled son LiAngelo out of UCLA.

“He was right,” Ball said of Emmert’s comments. “Those kids who are one and done, they shouldn’t be there with the NCAA trying to hold them hostage, not allowing them to keep the jersey they wear while selling replicas of them in stores.”

There will be one caveat, however, for players interested in joining the fledgling league: Only Big Baller Brand gear will be used.

As is the case with almost everything the elder Ball does, the Junior Basketball Association will be a means of promoting the family brand. And that’s all the more proven by Ball’s plan for the league logo. It will be a silhouette of son Lonzo, currently starring as a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers, throwing down a dunk.

“We don’t need a logo of a guy dribbling,” Ball said, presumably making reference to theĀ  Jerry West silhouette used by the NBA. “Nobody does that anymore.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Ball’s vision will prove successful. One thing is certain, though: We’ll be hearing a lot about from Ball himself.