Lithuania welcomes LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball; Basketball hotbed awaits pro debut – Orange County Register

PRIENAI, Lithuania — Prienai Arena sits at the end of a windy road on the outskirts of this small town among the forests and mineral springs of central Lithuania. Go past a crude, brick, communist-era storage shelter and you’ll find the current home of 19-year-old LiAngelo and 16-year-old LaMelo Ball, the new sensations of this basketball-crazed nation.

The smell of stale sweat hangs in the gym, despite it being barely six years old. Three rows of seats are behind the team benches; eight rows are on the other side. Staples Center this is not. It’s barely Chino Hills High. But this is the 1,500-seat home of a pro team, Birstonas-Prienai Vytautas,…

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