Don’t worry, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers fans, you won’t get the Ball Brothers (or get them back in the Lakers case) for the 2021-22 season. Instead, the Big Baller Brand brothers – Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo Ball – will be in LA this summer, hooping together.
The Ball brothers will not be on the field in a professional capacity. They team up to play in the legendary Los Angeles-based summer tournament, the Drew League. Their team will bring together the brothers and much of the cast of their famous high school team.
What is the Drew League?
Community organizer Alvin Willis founded the Drew League in 1973 as “a place for young men and women in south-central Los Angeles to learn life lessons through basketball,” according to DrewLeague.com.
What began as a modest six-team league in Charles Drew High School has grown into the West Coast’s premier summer basketball league in the United States. This is LA’s response to New York’s Rucker Park tournament.
Today the league plays in the (slightly) larger gymnasium at King Drew High School. It is now made up of 28 teams who enter only at the invitation of the organizers. The Drew League has seen “streetball legends, college athletes and several NBA stars” compete for the title over the years.
These stars and legends include some of the best and most exciting players who have never played in the NBA, such as Kenny “Bad Santa” Brunner and James “Gumby” Gray. Local LA products that have become NBA stars like DeMar DeRozen, Baron Davis, Nick Young, and Brandon Jennings also feature regularly in the league.
Even the greatest of all time, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, have raced in the Drew League this summer.
The Ball brothers reunite with their Chino Hills high school basketball team
The three Ball brothers, Lonzo Ball and LaMelo Ball, who play in the NBA, and their younger brother LiAngelo Ball, who played at UCLA, team up this summer as a Drew League squad. LiAngelo said CLICK magazine:
I’m going to play in the Drew League with my brothers. It’s gonna be exciting. It’s gonna be a show. Damn near our entire high school team, for real. Me, Melo, Zo, Eli (Scott). Big O (Onyeka Okongwu) could play. It’s going to be fun, I’ve grown up now and coming back together so I can’t wait to see what will happen, but I know it’s gonna be a show for sure.
He mentions that he hasn’t played with his two brothers together since “fucking close to high school together at a really competitive level.” Details of who exactly will play in the LiAngelo Drew League squad have yet to be confirmed.
The other players he mentioned were members of the 2015-16 Chino Hills High School basketball team in Chino Hills, Calif., Which is perhaps the best high school basketball team of all. time.
What’s the best high school basketball team ever?
The 2015-16 Chino Hills basketball team that started five included three NBA Draft picks, Lonzo Ball (2017, No.2 overall), LaMelo Ball (2020, No.3 overall) and Onyeka Okongwu (2020, No.6 overall). It also featured a G League player (LiAngelo Ball) and Eli Scott, an All-Conference player entering his fifth and final year at Loyola Marymount.
This team went 35-0 en route to a California State Championship. Along the way, he took down national powers Montverde Academy and Mater Dei. The team averaged 97.9 points per game that year, according to USA today. That’s an incredibly high number for a high school team that only plays 32-minute games.
Other contenders for the title who also went undefeated and produced at least three NBA players from one team include:
- The 1981-1982 Dunbar (Baltimore) team with Mugsy Bouges, Reggie Lewis, Reggie Williams and David Wingate
- The 1988-1989 team from St. Anthony (New Jersey) with Bobby Hurley, Terry Dehere and Rodrick Rhodes
- The Southwest 1989-1990 (Detroit) with Jalen Rose, Vashon Lenard and Howard Eisley
- The Oak Hill Academy (Virginia) 1992-1993 team with Jerry Stackhouse, Jeff McGinnis, Mark Blount and Makhtar NDiaye
The 19-20 Montverde Academy basketball team will soon be entitled to this list. The squad included three players who are expected to be first-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft: Cade Cunningham of Oklahoma State, Scottie Barnes of Florida State and Moses Moody of Arkansas.
If this all-star class performs up to their expected draft spots, they could eclipse Lonzo, LiAngelo and LeMelo Ball’s team and everyone else on this list for the best high school basketball team ever.
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