Chino Hills High School’s basketball team is having a tremendous season, thanks in part to LaMelo Ball. Lamelo has personally scored at least 20 points in every game he has played in, and has undoubtedly been one of the main reasons why Chino Hills High School’s basketball team was able to win over 50 basketball games throughout the country up until February. As a private tutoring service in Chino Hills, we’ve been monitoring this story closely.
While LaMelo Ball is a star player who has made MaxPreps Boys’ Basketball Freshman All-American First Team and was recently named co-Freshman of the year, his playing style is not without controversy. The fact that the young point guard was recently able to score 90 points in a single game leaves little question as to whether or not he is a talented basketball player.
However, a number of sports commentators and experts have noted that Chino Hills High School’s style of play isn’t exactly congruent with the spirit of sportsmanship that you would typically see at the high school level.
As pointed out by NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, LaMelo Ball repeatedly fails to get back on defense, favoring instead to stay on the offensive end of the court in an effort to catch a long pass off of the rebound.
Additionally, it’s been pointed out that even though Chino Hills High had the game wrapped up, their players intentionally fouled the opposing team in the closing minutes of LaMelo’s 90 point performance in an effort to stop the clock and allow him time to rack up more points. Traditionally, it’s considered sportsmanlike to allow the clock to run out when it is clear that there is no chance of the opposing team making a comeback, as opposed to running up the score to pad stats.
Poor sportsmanship, or sour grapes?
On the other hand, many people have commended LaMelo Ball for his aggressive style of play. It is undeniable that he is clearly one of the most talented young players in the country. Many of the millions of people who watched the controversial game on YouTube have expressed the opinion that he should be congratulated for playing so well, rather than criticized for “hogging the ball”.
When asked about his unbelievable performance, LaMelo noted that he made it a point to score as many points as possible in honor of a fellow Chino Hills student who is suffering from a rare heart condition. His comments drew attention to this student’s GoFundMe page, as is evidenced by the fact that over 25% of all donations to the account were made after this particular game.
This all begs the question, are those who have a problem with Chino High’s brand of basketball truly concerned with sportsmanship, or are they just bitter because their team and players are not as talented?
It’s likely that the controversy has only helped LaMelo and his outspoken father Lonzo gain more notoriety. It’s unlikely that the gripes of parents, opposing coaches, and exuberant former NBA stars will have any impact on LaMelo or his unique style of play.