LiAngelo Ball News

LiAngelo Ball Secured Draft Spot with Strong Combine Performance

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LiAngelo Ball had a good day yesterday — let’s get that out the way. The former UCLA product (briefly) and LKL standout for BC Vytautas was on a mission to prove he belonged in the NBA, and did just that in front of over 20 scouts at the Pro Basketball Combine at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

For starters, LiAngelo’s measurables are very solid. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 1/4, 215 pounds, he displayed a 36 1/2 max vertical and more impressive was his 6-foot-9 inch wingspan. He moved well running the 3/4 sprint with a time of 3.36. However, his lane agility drill was less than stellar as his time of 12.36 puts him in the same group as the power forwards and centers. As I watched the drill however, it looked more to do with a lack of technique as opposed to lack of agility — (more on this later) so I’m not concerned about this at all.

As I viewed the many highlights posted by the spectators, one of the many drills I was evaluating was LiAngelo shooting on the move. While official stats have not been posted, he seemed to do this rather well overall throughout the combine. While there were instances where his shot was not falling, his footwork looked very good for a player his size, which you rarely see at the guard position.

The 3-on-3 scrimmages may have sealed the day for LiAngelo as he showcased nice footwork, energy, and length on the defensive end while guarding players smaller than him as well as blocking a couple of shots using that 6’9″ wingspan. Offensively is where he showed just why his father, LaVar believes he is the sleeping giant due to his versatility.

Many times during the scrimmage, LiAngelo was shown knocking down three’s with a very quick release after quickly setting his feet off the move. The versatility was shown when he was matched against smaller defenders (weight wise) and made them barbecue chicken in the post.

One of the more impressive videos was caught by HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy who caught a hot streak of LiAngelo shooting NBA-range 3-pointers from the right side. He hit 9 of 10, and 8 straight in that stretch.

LaVar has long stated the Ball brothers are good for business. This is not an opinion, this is a fact. A quick glance at the Pro Basketball Combine Twitter feed will show a huge disparity in engagement with LiAngelo posts compared to the other combine participants. Not to mention the various outlets covering the event solely due to his presence alone.

This is merely the icing on the cake for a player who has proven he can more than hold his own as a professional basketball player. With private workouts reportedly lined up with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Golden State Warriors — LiAngelo has caught the attention of a few teams in major markets looking to exploit not just his talent, but his marketability as well.

It’s easy to poke at the celebrity LiAngelo has, but the fact he has received raved reviews on his character and work ethic is what will win over NBA GM’s. This combine performance was an audition — and LiAngelo passed with flying colors.

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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