LiAngelo Ball hopes to impress at combine
LiAngelo Ball is hoping to put himself in the radar after declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft, expecting to make a splash at the Professional Basketball Combine at the IMG Academy in May. The younger brother to Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball was pulled out of UCLA weeks after a shoplifting scandal, and signed with Lithuanian team Vytautas Prieunu, playing alongside his brother LaMelo.
The combine will put him in a series of workouts, including testing his skills at various areas of the court, and a face-to-face interview with team executives, who will gauge the suitability of his character for their respetive franchises.
“I just want to show the scouts something they haven’t seen in person,” Ball told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. “A lot of the scouts haven’t been able to see me in person, so I feel like going to the Professional Basketball Combine will allow them to see how I’m built, see how I look and talk to me. I think this is a good chance for them to get to really know me.”
Ball averaged 15.7 points in nine games with Vytautas, but most league experts are in consensus that he is likely facing an uphill battle to make the cut into either of the two rounds of the NBA Draft in June. Yet that hasn’t deterred him from showing what he’s got next month.
“During the combine, I want to show that I can score on all three levels: posting up, midrange and with my three-point shot,” said Ball. “My specialty is my 3-point shot and I’m looking forward to showing that. As far as my development overseas, I feel like I got a lot better out here. But I feel like I’ll keep getting better no matter where I am. Everywhere I go, I’m going to keep working out and developing my game. There’s never enough practice, you can always get better. But I do feel like I’ve developed greatly.”
Ball will be against a stacked freshman class and many highly-touted college players with two or more years of college basketball under their belt, but it only takes to make one team a believer to get a shot in the NBA.