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The Truth About LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball’s Training

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For the past year, no teenage basketball players have been scrutinized more than the Ball brothers. From Lonzo to LiAngelo, to quite possibly the most talented of all, LaMelo — all three can barely walk to the store without being told they’re not doing something right.

In recent days, footage of LiAngelo and LaMelo have surfaced of their pickup games at a 24 Hour Fitness. While viewing the edited videos, the games leave much to be desired — and rightfully so.

Both LiAngelo and LaMelo are professional hoopers playing against middle-aged and fellow teens who some will never start on their YMCA rec league. The others are a mixture of former Chino Hills High School players such as first-cousin, Andre Ball, and Will Pluma. There has also been a few JBA League player sightings who have been training with the boys to get a head start on their upcoming season.

While the games itself may not be competitive — at least for them — they’re not intended to be, as the heavy lifting (no pun intended) has been done hours prior.

While speaking to Lonzo’s manager and trainer (and close family friend) Darren Moore aka D-Mo, he shared with me just what the boys do before their down time at 24 Hour Fitness.

“They start at 7:00 in the morning running a mile and a half,” said Darren. “They then do five sprints uphill. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, they lift afterwards, and Tuesdays and Thursdays they do pull ups.”

For those who have never ran up a hill, it is quite the workout just doing it one time. I tried this during a recent vacation to Bermuda and the leg burn was something serious (I couldn’t move for about 45 minutes).

The mile and a half run is not your ordinary run either. The trail consists of hills going up and down throughout. Oh, and those five sprints? Yeah, they’re easily 100 feet long, not to mention doing this outside in the heat.

From there, the skill training for basketball ensues, all under the direction of their father, LaVar. “[After the workout] they go get up shots and play 3-on-3 while LaVar gives them advice on moves and how to play. They go to 24 just to have fun and for extra work that they want.”

So between the running, sprints, lifting, and basketball training, they spend about four hours per day solely on getting better.

LaMelo Ball dribbling for Vytatuas

LaMelo Ball is putting in the necessary work to be great. He will showcase his efforts June 21st for the Los Angeles Ballers of the JBA League.

After a full day of workouts and training, many would be content with relaxing on the couch watching TV or playing video games. However, the Ball brothers spend that time “having fun” by playing the game they love and using that time to better themselves.

As for LaMelo, D-Mo is expecting great things based on the work he’s been putting in. “Melo’s body has already started developing since he’s been back,” Darren said. “He’s gotten faster and stronger day by day. [Melo’s] coming in first in all the hill runs and his bench press has increased by the week. You can tell his legs are getting stronger by the way he is dunking. His hard work will be on display his first game, June 21st in the JBA.”

D-Mo has been around for awhile. He’s watched Lonzo grow from a boy to a man, now starting on the Los Angeles Lakers. He is more than qualified to speak on how both LiAngelo and LaMelo will fare based on where Lonzo was at their respected ages.

RELATED: LaMelo Ball is Shaping up to be a Force in the JBA League and Beyond

LiAngelo will showcase his skills tomorrow at the Pro Basketball Combine at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. His goal is to make the NBA — more specifically joining his brother, Lonzo with the Lakers. He has already proven himself a successful pro while leading his former team, BC Vytautas in scoring in 14 games and under 22 minutes per game (he averaged just under 13 PPG despite barely playing his first and last games of the season).

LaMelo however, is the one most fans are eager to see. While he too joined LiAngelo in Lithuania, he was featured far less after indecision from head coach, Virginijus Seskus, who was reluctant to play a 16-year-old American teenager. LaMelo did play very well in the Big Baller Brand Challenge Games, but those were counted as exhibitions.

Either way, the idea that these guys don’t work hard is asinine. No matter the talent level, one does not earn a scholarship to UCLA without having a strong work ethic. Not only that, a player who was considered a four-year mid-major prospect does not work himself into being a potential draft pick — one year removed from high school — without putting in the necessary work.

These boys are hungry. They’re ready to show they are more than just Lonzo’s little brothers, and the world will be put back on notice very soon.

Brandon Williams is the Editor in Chief for Fresh Sports TalkYou can follow him on Twitter @TalkinWithFresh, or “Like” him on Facebook.

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