LaVar Ball is wrapping up a banner year with perhaps his biggest news yet. LaVar, the most polarizing figure in sports in 2017 and the father of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, announced Wednesday his plans to start a basketball league for top-ranked high school players who do not want to play college basketball.
The news of the Junior Basketball Association comes via ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell.
According to Ball, the league plans to compensate players—and certainly compensate them better than a college scholarship does. The lowest-ranked player will receive a salary of $3,000 a month, and the highest-ranked player will receive $10,000 a month, Ball said.
He is looking for 80 players in total, who will fill the rosters of 10 teams. He hopes to have the teams play in major U.S. cities like Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Atlanta.
“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 said of his league, which will follow NBA rules and have an NBA three-point line.
He said, because of the model, he thinks it will be “easy” to attract players. According to Ball, the league will be funded by Big Baller Brand, and every player will sport BBB gear.
“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,” Ball said. “So our guy isn’t going to go to Florida State for a year. He’s going to come to our league.”
Ball’s two younger sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, will not compete in the league, as they earlier this month signed professional deals with Prienai Birstonas Vytautas in Lithuania.