Kentucky is not recruiting LaMelo Ball, the Herald-Leader was told Friday.
Ball, formerly a top recruit in the class of 2019, is now playing with Spire Academy (Ohio) and has expressed interest in attending college next season. The 17-year-old from California is the younger brother of former UCLA players Lonzo and LiAngelo Ball and was considered a five-star recruit — ranked top 10 nationally by ESPN — before leaving the country to play professionally in Lithuania with his brother, LiAngelo.
The 6-foot-6 guard hopes to be NCAA eligible next season despite playing professionally, and he was quoted earlier this month as saying that he would like to play for a top college program, specifically mentioning Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina, among others. Ball’s father, LaVar Ball, told ESPN last December that LaMelo had already signed with an agent.
“He’s not going to play college basketball,” the elder Ball said at the time.
LaMelo Ball will be a featured player at the PSA Cardinals Prep Showcase next weekend in Pennsylvania, and Kentucky is one of several schools on the guest list to see that event, however, the Herald-Leader has also been told that no one from UK’s staff is currently planning to attend.
The Cats play Seton Hall in Madison Square Garden the day before the showcase.
UK already has commitments from five-star point guard Tyrese Maxey, five-star wing Kahlil Whitney and four-star wing Dontaie Allen, and the Cats could return multiple backcourt players from this season’s team.