PRIENAI, Lithuania — LaVar Ball said the plan is for his sons LiAngelo and LaMelo to remain with their new Lithuanian team through the remainder of its season.
“The plan is for them to be here until the end of May or June,” LaVar said. “Hopefully they make the playoffs.”
LaVar, who came to Lithuania with his wife, Tina, her parents and other family members, said the entire family plans on staying at least six weeks. He said his oldest son, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, will be fine with the family out of the country.
Ball, speaking exclusively to ESPN on Friday afternoon just prior to the first practice, said he isn’t concerned with the adjustment for 19-year-old LiAngelo and 16-year-old LaMelo as they prepare to make their professional debuts next Tuesday at home against Tsmoki-Minsk.
“We are playing basketball. You all soft. You all soft,” LaVar said. “You all like, ‘We’re away from home, can’t believe it.’ We’re in the gym.”
“As long as my boys are playing, they’re comfortable,” he added. “As long as they are playing basketball. You all making it a big-ass deal. They’re in a new town, meeting new guys. They’re playing basketball.”
LiAngelo and LaMelo didn’t say much upon walking into the arena prior to their first practice.
“I’m not nervous,” LiAngelo told ESPN. “We’re just playing.”
“Just another practice,” LaMelo added.
Upon entering the gym, LaVar met with Prienai Vytautas head coach Virginijus Seskus and they spoke for a couple of minutes.
“I like, I like. I’m ready for some action. Let’s get to work,” LaVar said. “We’re going to have a great time. New experience for me and you, but great.”