Former Wisconsin guard Ben Brust, who played for the Lithuanian League’s BC Pieno Zvaigžd?s last season, said LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball will suffer severe culture shock playing in the Eastern European nation.
“I think they’ll last a month maximum,” Brust told Yahoo! Sports “It seems like the worst possible place they could have picked.”
Brust said the Balls, who are used to sun-splashed LA, will recoil at the remote snow-covered Lithuanian town where they will play.
“It was always cold and dark. There are only like 5 or 6 hours of sunlight every day, and you’re in a gym for half of it,” said Brust. “It’s a good basketball league, but there are plenty of other places in Europe that I would much prefer to live.”
“My American teammates and I would literally count down the days until we got back to America,” he added.
Brust said that restaurants in town only served strange local cuisine and he had to drive 30-40 minutes to find a bigger city with malls and American food.
He also said the team travel was often by bus or ferry, and that they often stayed in budget motels on the road.
ESPN No. 7 ranked high school junior LaMelo Ball and his brother, ex-UCLA freshman LiAngelo, who recently left the school amid his China shoplifting arrest, signed with agent Harrison Gaines last week, ending their amateur careers.
The brothers then signed one-year deals with Lithuania’s Prienu Vytautas.
LaMelo, a 6-2 point guard, averaged 26.7 points last season for Chino Hills HS (CA) as a sophomore, including pouring in an eye-popping 92 points in a 146-123 win over Los Osos in February.
The 6-5 LiAngelo Ball, ESPN’s No. 41 SF in the 2017 high school class and younger brother of Lakers’ 2017 No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball, averaged 33.8 points last season for Chino Hills, leading the team to a 30-3 record.
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