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LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball turn pro with club team in Lithuania

December 12, 2017
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2017, file photo, UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball is surrounded by reporters and photographers as he leaves Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. A basketball club from Lithuania says it has signed LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball to pro contracts, making them ineligible for college basketball. The Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas club, which plays in the Lithuanian league, says the brothers will report to the club “in early January,” in a website statement. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

A professional Lithuanian basketball club signed LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball to pro contracts, making LaVar Ball’s two younger sons ineligible for college basketball.

The move comes after LiAngelo left UCLA , where he was suspended after his shoplifting arrest during the team’s season-opening trip to China.

LaVar Ball recently removed 16-year-old LaMelo from Chino Hills High in California. His oldest son, Lonzo, is a rookie with the Lakers.

The Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas club, which plays in the Lithuanian league, said in a statement the brothers will report in early January. Their contracts run through the end of the current season.

“We are committed to their long-term success and development as professional basketball players,” said Vilius Vaitkevicius, the team’s sports director.

The Balls won’t be the first Americans to play for the club. Brad Tinsley, a former Vanderbilt guard, played for Prienai-Birstonas Vytautus between August and October. Tinsley declined to comment on his brief time with Prienai-Birstonas Vytautus when contacted Tuesday by The Associated Press.

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