Category: LaMelo Ball

Why LaMelo Ball won’t be playing in the McDonald’s All-American Game

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.
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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!