LaVar Ball recently reminded the world that he’s serious about starting the Junior Basketball Association and that it will be coming very soon.

Ball used Slam Magazine Monday to announce that the JBA will begin recruiting players during a series of open tryouts, starting April 7. The tryouts will take place in eight different cities across the country, starting on the West-coast with its first stop in Seattle, according to the JBA official website. Others cities include L.A, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, N.Y. and Philadelphia.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (pictured) will help his father, LaVar, get the Junior Basketball Association started. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Players from age 17 to 19 are eligible to tryout.

“We said three months ago that we were in it to change the game, and now we’re excited to finally get to work,” said Ball, who told Slam he’s not only paying his players upwards to $10,000 a month, but will also give away luxury cars like “Mercedes, BMWs or Cadillacs” to the league’s championship winners.

“This movement shouldn’t just be about catering to top prospects,” Ball continued. “Any talented baller deserves the chance to get seen and recognized.”

Ball also revealed that he has brought on former UCLA Basketball legend Ed O’Bannon and former NBA player and head coach Earl Watson as key members of his selection committee for the talent of the JBA. His eldest son, Los Angeles Lakers star rookie Lonzo Ball, will also be a part of the selection committee.

“I believe this is a great opportunity for young athletes to showcase their skills. According to Mark Emmert, athletes who want to focus on getting ready for the next level and want to be paid have no place in college sports,” said O’Bannon in a statement released to SLAM.  “The Junior Basketball Association will now provide an alternate option for them. I’m looking forward to getting started.”

O’Bannon, who led UCLA to a national championship in 1995, filed a lawsuit against the NCAA nearly nine years ago for commercializing his image and likeness without compensating him. The U.S. Court of Appeals eventually decided in O’Bannon’s favor in 2015, ruling that the NCAA’s amateurism rules (which restricts student athletes from earning money for their talent) violate federal antitrust laws.

“I think having guys like Ed, Earl and Lonzo come in and support the movement shows that there’s people out there that care,” Ball said “They see how important it is to provide these kinds of opportunities to guys who can ball.”

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor