Big Baller Brand is headed to Europe!
To be more exact: Big Baller Brand will be taking its pull to…Lithuania.
LaVar Ball has made good on his promise to get his sons, LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball, overseas contracts after pulling the former out of UCLA and declaring that the latter, 16, would forego the college route. Both are now members of Lithuanian team Prienu Vytautas.
Here’s the Big Ball Instagram account announcing the news:
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LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are Officially Professional Basketball Players. Both Ball Brothers have signed to play for Club "Prienai" in Lithuania. It's not about the money for the Ball Brothers. They have a passion to play Basketball and to experience playing as pros was the Goal. They have accomplished this mission and are excited to be playing on the same team to top it off. The Big Baller way! #BBB #Familyfirst #builtforthis
And here’s The Vertical’s Shams Charania with some contract terms:
Sources: LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball have turned pro, signing one-year contracts with first division Lithuanian team Vytautas. They will report to the club in early January.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 11, 2017
So, yeah. This happened. As for what comes next, we cannot be sure. But as DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony wrote, the Ball brothers aren’t exactly looking at a life of luxury—or even a ton of playing time:
The Ball brothers are not expected to see major playing time for Prienu Vytautas in the Lithuanian (LKL) league, but could be afforded an opportunity to develop in the Baltic (BBL) League, where the stakes are much lower. The club must decide whether to pull the trigger first.
From what I’m told, salaries for players at this level of competition usually don’t exceed $500 per month in the absolute best case. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Ball brothers ended up playing for free. Certainly not the most glamorous league or part of the world to live in.
Prienu Vytautas has only had one American player on their roster in the past decade, Brad Tinsley, who departed after a month of action, according to my research. The Balls would likely be faced with a major culture shock in Prienai, a small village of around 10,000 people.