The rosters for the inaugural Big Baller Brand All-American game were revealed on Wednesday and feature a pair of top-20 recruits to highlight the rosters.
Jaden McDaniels of Federal Way (Wash.), ranked No. 6 in the Chosen 25, will join LaMelo Ball, ranked No. 13 by ESPN, will highlight the rosters in the first high school All-Star game put on by Big Baller Brand.
Ball’s SPIRE Institute (Geneva, Ohio) teammate and Michigan State commit Rocket Watts will also be apart of the contest while Texas Tech commit Jahmius Ramsey, ranked No. 30 by ESPN, and Depaul commit Romeo Weems, ranked 45th by ESPN, will also be apart of the game.
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Isaac Johnson, an Oregon commit ranked 55th, Christian Brown, ranked No. 60 by ESPN, Jaykwon Walton, a George commit ranked 67th, Jalen Wilson, a Michigan commit ranked 72nd, Sahvir Wheeler, a Texas A&M commit ranked 79th, and Josh Nickelberry, a Louisville commit ranked 82nd, all are top-100 players who will participate.
The rest of the rosters are comprised of Allen Flanigan, Brevin Walter, Ibrahima Diallo, Isaac McBride, Jalen Hill, Jaylin Williams, Julius Marble, Max Farthing.
The game is set to take place on March 31 in Las Vegas at Orleans Arena. As it stands, per Slam Online, a handful of roster spots remain open with Big Baller Brand hoping to fill those spots in the coming weeks.
The selections for the 42nd annual McDonald’s All-American game were announced on Thursday and, surprisingly, did not include LaMelo Ball.
The 2019 edition of the premier showcase will be highlighted by Cole Anthony, James Wiseman and Vernon Carey, Jr. as part of the 24-player field of players. Isaiah Stewart, Anthony Edwards and Nico Mannion also will take part in the event, which is arguably the most prestigious All-Star game for incoming college freshmen.
McDAAG ROSTERS: BOYS | GIRLS
One of the names not included in the roster, though, was Ball. LaMelo’s oldest brother Lonzo took part in the McDonald’s All-American game in 2016 and was one of the bright spots.
After coming back to Spire Institute for his senior season, LaMelo Ball has shown out and established himself as one of the top players once again. Ball recently reappeared in the ESPN Top 100 for the Class of 2019 at 13th in the nation. Interestingly, using those same ESPN rankings, Ball is the only recruit in the top 16 to not be included in the roster.
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However, a report from November, roughly around the time Ball returned to school, suggested Ball may have been ruled ineligible for the McDonald’s All-American game due to his time in Lithuania, according to a member of the voting committee.
“LaMelo Ball is a professional basketball player and has played professionally in Lithuania resulting in him being ineligible for the McDonald’s All-American Game.”
While the Ball family holds out that the youngest Ball son did not receive money for his time in Lithuania, the committee may have remained unconvinced and decided to leave Ball out of the contest.
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Potentially, Ball himself could have declined an invitation to play in the McDonald’s All-American game. Per NCAA guidelines, players can only compete in two All-Star contests prior to their freshman season.
D-I athletes who play in more than two all-star football or basketball games following the completion of their high school eligibility will not be permitted to compete during their first year of collegiate athletics, unless however, the games are played between the time you graduate high school and before you begin your freshman year. Within that time, you can play in an unlimited number of all-star games.
That being said, Ball would have only declined that to stay eligible within the NCAA’s standards and, well, that would be akin to throwing a cup of water on a forest fire. Ball and his family have torched their NCAA eligibility and continue setting the ashes ablaze with each pop-up shop featuring Ball’s likeness at his Spire games.
On top of that, the McDonald’s All-Star game is the top All-Star game for high school athletes and is very rarely, if ever, the one players turn down.
The most likely scenario is, as listed above, Ball was considered ineligible for the game due to his brief time as a professional. Do you think Ball deserved to be a McDonald’s All-American this season? Let us know down below!