Lonzo Ball is no longer the only member of the infamous Ball family to have his own signature shoe.
On Thursday, in a video from SLAM, the youngest Ball brother, LaMelo, announced the release of his own signature shoe, which will be sold by his family’s apparel company, Big Baller Brand.
For a 16-year-old high school junior, a signature shoe is unprecedented territory. As such, the announcement initially prompted questions regarding LaMelo’s eligibility next season at Chino Hills High School, where he’ll return as the leading scorer.
But according to CIF Bylaw 212.C, Ball is allowed to sell and wear his own signature shoe, “as long as he’s not representing his school in any way,” per CIF assistant commissioner Thom Simmons. That includes “wearing school uniforms, display of mascot, image of schools, etc.”
🚨 EXCLUSIVE: LaMelo Ball becomes the first high school player to have his own sneaker.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) August 31, 2017
How things will change in two years when LaMelo Ball is slated to enroll at UCLA, remains to be seen. LaVar Ball, his father, told ESPN that he isn’t concerned about LaMelo’s future eligibility in college, possibly casting doubt on whether his youngest son actually plans to follow through on his commitment to join the Bruins.
LiAngelo Ball, who is enrolled at UCLA and is now the only brother without his own shoe, cannot endorse Big Baller Brand without jeopardizing his NCAA eligibility.
“We’ll worry about it when we get there,” LaVar told ESPN when asked about LaMelo’s NCAA eligibility. “Who cares? If he can’t play, then he can’t play. It doesn’t mean he’ll stop working out and getting better.”
The shoe, named the Melo Ball 1, will cost $395. That’s $100 less than his brother’s shoe, the ZO2, which was widely panned on the Internet when it was released earlier in the summer. Lonzo was drafted second overall by the Lakers in June.
Sales of the ZO2 lagged early on, with only 500 sold in the first week. At the time, LaVar Ball responded to criticism of the shoe’s price on Twitter, writing, “If you can’t afford the ZO2s, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER!”
In the shoe’s release video, LaMelo eats from a bowl of cherries, a reference to criticism he received last season for “cherry-picking” during Chino Hills games, as he often opted to remain near the basket, instead of hustling back on…