It had been a while since a Ball brother was in the news, but amateur basketball's Kris Jenner, LaVar Ball, was never going to allow that trend to continue. He enrolled his youngest son, LaMelo Ball, in Ohio's Spire Prep Academy because he's still eligible to play his senior year against other prep schools to show NBA scouts what he can do against peers his own age. And now we know why LaMelo is such a good fit for SPIRE. Their coach, Jermaine Jackson, sounded like LaVar-lite when he spoke to TMZ Sports.
"In my opinion, LaMelo Ball can be the No. 1 pick in a year or two going to the Cleveland Cavaliers," the coach said. "Ain't no question about it."
It's not a good look for Jackson, who appeared sporadically—on a series of 10-day contracts and bit roles—on the fringes of the NBA from 2000-2006. So at least he's got some experience at that level. But this does feel like a ploy by Jackson to get some shine in the breakneck basketball news cycle.
"He's known as [a basketball talent] all over the world," he added. "He has a talent that, some of it just can't be taught." Sure.
When TMZ mentioned LaVar's well-documented eagerness to help previous Ball coaches, he neatly side-stepped the issue: "If LaVar's meddling in our team, we'll have conversations and we'll talk. And, I'm about what's right. It's not about who's right. It's about what's right."
Despite that bit of PR speak, if LaMelo ends up having a successful professional basketball career similar to his oldest brother, Lonzo, it'll come despite his father rather than because of it. His new prep school coach sounds like he still needs to learn the difference.