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Will LaMelo Ball be eligible at UCLA now that he has his own signature shoe?

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On Thursday, Big Baller Brand officially announced that LaMelo Ball, the youngest member of the Ball family, will have his own signature shoe called the ‘Melo Ball 1’.

The first question everyone asked: ‘How much does it cost?’

Only $395!

That’s a full $100 cheaper than the ZO2!

More importantly, particularly to those UCLA fans that are looking forward to watching Melo play for the Bruins at some point down the road, is whether or not the existence of this shoe and the Ball family’s ability to profit off of Melo’s name and likeness as a result – the shoe, quite literally, has the same name as him – will impact his collegiate eligibility.

By the NCAA’s traditional definition, Melo would no longer be an amateur athlete.

There’s a reason why Liangelo Ball, the middle son that is currently enrolled at UCLA, has not appeared in the family’s FaceBook reality TV show or in the video release for Melo’s shoe. It’s too late in the process to risk that.

Melo, however, has another two years before he has to worry about the NCAA’s arcane rules, and that’s a long way away in an era where Adam Silver is already talking about changing the one-and-done rule. Maybe, come 2019-2020, Melo won’t even have to spend a year in college before entering the NBA Draft.

If the rule isn’t changed by then, there will still be options for Melo. He can go to the G League for a year and then enter the NBA Draft. He can head overseas — maybe somewhere like China, where there is a huge basketball and shoe market — to play for a year. Hell, maybe the NCAA will look at this as Melo simply working for the family business, like all he’s doing is logging hours for Big Baller Brand the same way that he would be if LaVar owned a construction company and he was sheetrocking houses.

It doesn’t matter right now.

As I wrote two months ago, when the Balls invaded Vegas, Melo is already a celebrity. From a business perspective, there may be no better time than now to capitalize on that, to try and use it to sell sneakers.

That may mean he’s no longer an amateur athlete, but it should also put into perspective just how little college basketball means to the Ball family.

They got what they needed out of UCLA last year. Lonzo was a top two pick that ended up with the Lakers, LaVar is a household name and the family is turning into the basketball version of the Kardashians.

Do you really think they are all that worried about whether or not the NCAA will let Melo play three seasons down the road?

Report: North Carolina won’t attend White House

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.

Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.

“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”

According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”

With Trump’s recent comments towards NFL players and the national anthem and his Saturday morning tweet at Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the President with regards to athletes over the past 24 hours.

Although the timing of this may seem like North Carolina is making some sort of political statement, the school is downplaying any sort of politics by focusing on the bad timing.

Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer

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Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.

The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.

“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.

“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”

A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?

Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.

Four-star 2018 forward Ian Steere decommits from Creighton

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Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.

The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.

According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.

John Wall emotional in Kentucky Hall of Fame induction speech

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John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.

Ohio State snags third 2018 commitment in a week with four-star guard Luther Muhammad

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Ohio State continued a strong week on the recruiting trail on Friday night by landing a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Luther Muhammad.

Regarded as a four-star prospect, the 6-foot-4 Muhammad is a tough and rugged perimeter defender who can attack the basket. Also showing some ability to play on the ball as a secondary handler, Muhammad is a very solid addition to Ohio State’s recruiting class since they need to overhaul their roster under new head coach Chris Holtmann.

Muhammad is the third player to commit to the Buckeyes in the Class of 2018 this week as he joins four-star forward Jaedon LeDee and three-star guard Duane Washington in the current Ohio State recruiting class. Since Washington is a three-point threat and Muhammad is more of an off-the-bounce specialist, the two guards are a good start for Ohio State in this class as they will likely try to find a true floor leader to play with them on the perimeter.