With just a year of college hoops under his belt, UCLA star Lonzo Ball is going for the big show and big bucks in the 2017 NBA draft. We’ve got five things to know about the hoopster, who is expected to be a top pick on June 22.
1. Lonzo has been playing basketball since he was two-years-old.
Both of his parents LaVar and Tina Ball played college basketball and wanted their son to get an early start in the sport. His dad coached him and his two younger brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo on teams together until Lonzo reached high school.
2. Lonzo was the NCAA’s top recruit in 2015 after a stellar high school career.
He played for Chino Hills High School where he led the 35-0 season in his senior year and later took home the California state title. The Huskies were regarded as the top high school team in the nation, and after winning nearly every accolade possible, Lonzo became a five-star recruit.
3. Lonzo played one year of collegiate hoops at UCLA.
He signed a letter of intent to play for the Bruins in 2015, and was a star freshman player. He led the nation in assists and broke Larry Drew II’s school record for most assists in a season during their opening game of the NCAA Tournament in March 2017. Alongside fellow freshman T.J. Leaf, 20, he helped turn UCLA into a powerhouse once again, taking the team all the way to the Sweet 16.
4. Lonzo is expected to go as one of the top three picks in the 2017 NBA draft.
The powerful point guard declared his intention to enter the NBA draft after UCLA was knocked out of the NCAA tournament. Alongside Washington freshman Markelle Fultz, 18, he is considered one of the most sought after collegiate players. When Washington and UCLA met during the 2015-2016 season, over two dozen NBA executives were attendance to watch the players in action. The Los Angeles Lakers have the number two selection in the draft and are expected to pick Lonzo, as the Celtics are likely using their top pick to take Markelle.
5. Lonzo has his own line of athletic shoes that retail for $495.
His bombastic father tried to get a $1 billion shoe deal for his three sons from Nike, Under Armour and other companies and got turned down. He started his own Big Baller Brand and developed Lonzo’s line of shoes, the ZO2. Basketball fans — and even pros — flipped out at the high price tag for someone who has never proven himself in a single NBA game.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Lonzo will be a big star in the NBA? Or is he overhyped?