1500 basketball fans packed a small gym in Prienai, Lithuania today and over 120,000 people tuned in on Facebook Live to see LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball Vytautas team go up against Zalgris second team. The game is one of five scheduled for the Big Baller Brand Classic. These games are scheduled so the Ball brothers can play against lesser competition as they might not play much during the games that actually count.
Vytautas won the game 90-80. LiAngelo Ball struggled early to start but once he got comfortable he used his size advantage to score 19 points on 8-19 shooting and he also pulled down 5 rebounds. LaMelo Ball put up a stat line of 10 points on 4-10 shooting, 9 assists and 4 steals. He also had six turnovers. “Melo” was actually impressive with his passing. He has several behind the back passes that got the crowd excited.
LaMelo Ball becomes the youngest American basketball player to play a professional game at age 16.
For Zalgiris, they was led by Rokas Jokubaitis 31 points on 13-of-24 shooting. He is one of Lithuania’s top young talents and is a long term NBA prospect. Throughout the game he was the best player on the floor scoring from everywhere. Off the dribble, off screens, three point shots, floaters, the kid had it all going today. He’s a very intriguing prospect.
The 17-year-old Jokubaitis averaged 10.0 points and 5.3 assists for Lithuania in the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup and also averaged 12.4 points for Zalgiris at the 2016-17 Adidas Next Generation Tournament.
Vytautas’ next game comes in the Lithuanian Basketball League when they play BC Lietkabelis on the road Saturday. The Big Baller Challenge will continue on Monday, January 15th at 1:30 PM Eastern time vs BC Lietuvos Rytas reserve team. They’ll also have games on January 17th, January 23rd, finishing up The BBB Challenge on January 28th.