LaVar Ball has made a name for himself as a lightening rod of attention and the father of three great basketball players. He’s garnered so much attention between his appearances on ESPN and the hype he built around his oldest son Lonzo ahead of the NBA Draft, he’s getting his own reality show.
But on Wednesday night, it was basketball, not Ball, that captured the attention of fans far and wide. Specifically it was the spectacle of 15-year-old LaMelo Ball and 17-year-old Zion Williamson going head-to-head in an AAU game, with the Big Ballers facing off against SC Supreme.
Both Ball and Williamson are widely top-ranked high school prospects, and have already developed followings independent of each other for their dazzling abilities on the court.
LaMelo, the youngest Ball brother, is a Steph-Curry-in-waiting dribbling savant that will pull up from half court without a second thought, while Zion Williamson is a high-school human highlight reel, capable of posterizing any player that gets between him and the rim. With so much attention already being paid to the two players, their head-to-head matchup was sure to draw eyes.
Police officers working at the event needing to cut off entrants to the oversold gym.
LeBron was reportedly planning on attending the event, but changed his plans after security concerns made it possible the game wouldn’t even take place.
But the game went on and to the delight of the assembled crowd and 80,000 viewers livestreamed the game online, as both LaMelo and Zion put on quite a show.
The most impressive stretch of the duel came early, with Ball and Williamson trading baskets and swagger at each end of the court. Williamson put home a vicious alley-oop and Ball responded with a three.
Both players got the best of each other during moments of the game as well. Ball had this nifty scoop around Williamson.
While Williamson closed the game by picking this pass from Ball and taking it to the house.
In the end, Williamson and SC Supreme won 104-92, but the crowd got what they paid for as both teams and their stars put on quite the show. As for father LaVar, while obviously disappointed with the result, he seemed quite pleased with the event that the Big Baller Brand helped bring to Sin City.
“They’re gonna have to get a bigger venue,” he said. “When the Big Baller Brand come to town, better get something big.”