Move over UCLA, make way NBA - Ball declares

December 06, 2017

LOS ANGELES, California (AP):

The father of UCLA guard LiAngelo Ball says he's withdrawing his son from school so that he can prepare to play in the NBA. LaVar Ball said in a TV interview his "grand plan" is for all three sons to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

LiAngelo, along with fellow freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, have been indefinitely suspended for their participation in a shoplifting incident during the Bruins' trip to China last month. They are barred from all team activities.

LaVar Ball is taking his son's future into his own hands.

"I'm going to get Gelo in shape, I'm going to work him out, we're going to do some other things and he's going to be headed to the NBA,'" he told "Access Hollywood" in an interview aired yesterday on the Today show.

"The grand plan stays the same: All these boys are going to get on the Lakers. Watch how I do this. People will look up and they say, 'Wow, how'd they all get on the Lakers?'"

LiAngelo is the middle child of Ball's three sons. Oldest son Lonzo is a rookie with the Lakers after playing one successful season at UCLA. The elder Ball pulled his youngest son, LaMelo, out of Chino Hills High recently in favour of home schooling him.

LiAngelo Ball never played a regular-season game for the Bruins (7-1), who fell out of the Top 25 last week.

Although the school has said only that the suspensions are indefinite, the 'Access Hollywood' interview mentioned the period was for two to three months.

"That's the whole season pretty much," LiAngelo said in the TV interview. "That's just a long time of doing nothing. I'd rather be playing."

UCLA coach Steve Alford said in a statement on Monday that he learned of Ball's intention to withdraw that day.

"We respect the decision he and his family have made, and we wish him all the best in the future," Alford said in the statement.

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