The Ball brothers are gearing up for Lithuania and soon you’ll be able to rock their official jerseys.
The polarizing figures are also marketing machines which the Lithuanian club Vytautas Prienai was well aware of. According to Yahoo Sports, Vytautas shipped approximately 500 game jerseys – half LaMelo jerseys and half LiAngelo jerseys – to an Amazon warehouse in the United States and are expected to ship more to deliver late in the first week of January, the team official said. The jerseys will be sold exclusively by Amazon.
Though they play in a city of about 10,000, Vytautas will likely receive a lot of attention from North American basketball fans. While some teams may have been wary about signing the brothers because of their boisterous father, LaVar Ball, Vytautaus clearly saw the attention and marketing potential.
LaMelo, 16, and LiAngelo, 19, signed one-year deals with Vytautas on Dec. 11. They will report to Lithuania on Jan. 3 and are expected to make their debuts in a Baltic League game on Jan. 9. Vytautas plays in competitive games in the Baltic and Lithuanian leagues, which include teams that participate in EuroCup (Lietkabelis) and EuroLeague (Zalgiris). Other notable players who have played in the Lithuanian league before joining the NBA include Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes, ex-Rockets and Pelicans forward Donatas Motiejunas, and No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft, Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, who expressed his support of the Ball brothers playing in his home country.
LaVar pulled LaMelo out of Chino Hills High School and LiAngelo out of UCLA before getting them contracts to play professionally overseas. Their older brother Lonzo is a rookie starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.