New Orleans Pelicans stud Lonzo Ball is one of the brightest young guards in the NBA today. This is exactly why it’s hard to believe that at one point in his career, he was actually not considered good enough to make the cut in a particular team.
In a recent appearance on Uninterrupted’s Who’s Interviewing Who?, Ball revealed what he considers to be the lowest point in his entire basketball career:
“My lowest moment in basketball came after my freshman year in high school,” Ball said, via Jacob Rude of Lonzo Wire. “My pops never let me play AAU or travel ball or nothing like that so I was just local kid nobody really knew about. But I got an invitation to the USA camp to make the team and I ended up getting cut and that kind of shaped my whole high school career from that because I was like ‘There’s no way I’m not one of the best 15 players in my class.’ I went from not even being ranked to I think I made it to No. 2 by the time I was a senior. It just gave me motivation just to chase all the guys in front of me that people thought were better than me.”
As indicated by Jacob Rude in his report, it looks like Ball is referring to the 2013 USA Under-16 National Team here. In his mind, the Pelicans guard believed that he was more than good enough to be part of that squad. Ball, who is set to enter free agency in the offseason, simply could not fathom how he was omitted from the team.
To his credit, Lonzo Ball used this occurrence as motivation to master his craft. True enough, the Pelicans guard ended up being a better basketball player than over 90% of the players on that Under-16 squad. For what it’s worth, that team had the likes of Harry Giles, Terrance Ferguson, Thomas Bryant, Josh Jackson, and a handful of players who never made it to the NBA.
There was only one player on that team that Ball has been unable to surpass. After all, not many in the NBA can say that they’re better than Jayson Tatum.