- LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball in December signed one-year contracts to play for Lithuanian basketball team Prienu Vytautas.
- The signing was initiated when an employee from the team DMed the Balls’ agent on Twitter asking if they would be interested in playing in Lithuania.
- Less than week later, the brothers were signing deals to play for the team.
LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, the brothers of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball and sons of LaVar Ball, caught the basketball world by surprise last week when they signed with a Lithunian basketball club.
The two prospects’ futures were up in the air after LaVar had pulled LiAngelo out of UCLA following a suspension over shoplifting charges in China and after pulling LaMelo from high school to focus on basketball.
While the family was said to be exploring overseas options, few would have guessed that they would land on Prienu Vytautas, a small Lithuanian team in a small town with a population of 9 – 10,000 people.
According to The New York Times’ Andrew Keh, the entire situation was set up by a confident employee of the team who reached out to the Balls’ agent, Harrison Gaines, via Twitter, asking if the brothers would want to play for the club.
“I’m someone who believes anything can be done if you try,” said Erikas Kirvelaitis, the 21-year-old employee who was hired to work for the team’s communications department.
To his surprise, Gaines responded, asking for more details. The plan went into action, and the Ball brothers signed one-year contracts within a week.
“It was like a dream, crazy, a miracle, for our club to even have contact with them,” Kirvelaitis said told Keh.
Some felt it was an underwhelming destination for the Ball brothers. The team’s contracts reportedly do not pay much per week, and the Balls may have to start out playing in the Baltic league, the lower of the two leagues in which Prienu Vytautas plays.
Still, the town seems excited for the Balls, according to Keh. One pizzeria in town had a neon sign welcoming the family. The mayor of the town told Keh the attention thy were getting was already exhausting.
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