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The First Family of Basketball is BBB Built For This - Apr 2, 2017


POSTED BY:
FRANK SIMPSON
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With Lonzo, LiAngelo and Lamelo on the path towards basketball greatness, Lavar Ball's wit is authentically trailblazing a road to transcend basketball norms
Written by Courtney Flumo @courtney_flumo

As the College basketball world gear up for the National Title game and Pro fans are concerned with whether the Cleveland Cavaliers or Golden State Warriors will win the NBA Championship, arguably the biggest name in the sport is Ball; specially, Lonzo, LiAngelo and Lamelo Ball. The Ball trio is undeniably basketball rock stars and dad Lavar Ball has no issue in letting the world know the value of his three young men.

Born to two California natives and former collegiate D1 athletes, the Ball trio may have been destined for Hollywood like basketball stardom. Mom, Tina Ball, played basketball at Cal State and dad, Lavar, was a member of Washington State. Such a basketball background would lead others to believe the Ball parents intentionally breed basketball players, yet, by Lavar's account they never forced their children to partake in the sport. "I played basketball, my wife played basketball, all three of the boys don't play nothing but basketball, so how authentic can you get", says ball during our recent telephone conversation. In fact, due to the genuine love all three children have for basketball, the Ball family have enjoyed twenty years of family bonding centered on the sport; family games, training and traveling from Gym to Gym during club basketball and high school seasons.

Despite the national attention the Ball family is receiving, nothing has changed within their family structure. Lavar remains focused on over seeing his three sons basketball development while Tina ensures they continue to achieve high regards in the classroom; often yielding 4.0 or better results. Lavar Ball makes it known his family is not bothered one bit by the national light, "We always had attention to our family only thing now is there are camera's," Ball says before going on to proclaim there is a reason for this attention. "We expect it, it comes with the territory, but if you're not good nobody cares...it's just like if you invest in something and it turn out to be good you're going to talk about it," he says. It is this type of confidence that shapes the mantra of the Ball dynasty "Built For This." The Ball young men have certainly delivered on those lofty expectations.

Lonzo just finished his one and done season at UCLA and projected to be a top three pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA draft, LiAngelo is a high school senior heading to UCLA and LaMelo is a sophomore in high school who garnered national headlines after scoring 92 points in a game this past February is also headed to UCLA when his high school career is over. During a time in which such marquee players will decide to lend one year to perineal top 10 programs like Duke, Kentucky and University of North Carolina, the Ball's are comfortable with the historic UCLA program despite its previous struggles. 'It's not the school that makes the dude it's the dude that makes the school' says the elder Ball.

Lavar believes that his young men are ready for the challenge of bringing back UCLA basketball. He noted the change that Lonzo has had on elevating the program in just one season. 'Lonzo was ready for the UCLA challenge' says Lavar Ball. He compared Lonzo's impact on UCLA to that of which he had on his high school program Chino Hills. 'No one knew of Chino Hills' he went on to say. 'We put them on the map' Ball proclaims. Lavar Ball does not see his three sons as 'game changers', but he notes 'they are program changers.' He teaches his young men to go in and establish a winning culture instead of pushing to be statically great habitual losers. He even noted that his wife does not baby the three young Ball men and in fact gives them critical feed back to their play; if they have a horrible game she makes them aware of the fact that they played horrible. It's this kind of candid parental feedback that have their three boys expecting to win every time they step on the court.

Though Lonzo, LiAngelo and Lamelo's play on the court makes this family story so compelling, the sub plot to this American family rise is that of Lavar and his hands on approach to managing the business of Lonzo, LiAngelo and Lamelo being elite level basketball players. Recently it made national news that Lavar was seeking a whopping one billion dollar endorsement deal for his family brand 'Big Baller Brand' or BBB as you see on most of the apparel (https://bigballerbrand.com). Though this number may seem absurd to most, Lavar makes his case to why this number is the value of his family's marketability. Lavar asked me, 'how come the sneaker revenue is going up and the amount they are giving to the players is going down?' He went on to say, 'I want to create an empire for my young men. With the Big Baller Brand I created a brand for our family - something that is internal that can be forever. Everybody want something fresh. The winning is what people are buying. Jordans are still selling because he was a winner.'

Considering the success of '3LB' it's hard to argue with the Leadership of both Tina and Lavar. As the rock of his family, Lavar is willing to take the heat. He is not afraid to speak his mind because he believes in what he is saying. His plan is to make sure his young men knows what value his young men have in the world. As for those who believe Lavar is too involved in the business of his three sons' careers, he says with great conviction, 'if just talking is the worst vice I can have being a dad I will take it.' In Lavar's words, 'the best thing about what I do is knowing whatever I say or do my family has my back. They trust me'

Much has been said of the Ball family, from Lavar's hands on approach, to Lonzo's form, you name it the jokes are there. Lavar, the spokeman for his family has an answer for the continued nay sayers. 'When I go left I go left because I wants to. It's because I believe something is better that way.' He went on to say, 'if you want it, are you built for it? Sometimes stuff gets real hard. Whatever you are trying to do in life - are you built for it? If not, then go do something else.' Measuring the success of the Ball trio to date, it's hard to argue against them not being built for basketball success and the rewards that go along with it.

*for additional basketball coverage follow me on twitter @courtney_flumo
  




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