LaVar Ball made his pro head coaching debut on Jan. 28 when he served as head coach of Vytautas, the Lithuanian pro basketball team on which his two youngest sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, play.
The two Ball brothers went on to score 71 points, combined in the game, as Vytautas crushed its opponent Jonova, of the Lithuanian Basketball League, 151-120.
LaMelo and LiAngelo had recently scored score 80 points, combined in the first game their father actually coached on Jan. 23. LaVar served as assistant coach of that game in which Vytautas outlasted its opponent, BC Dzūkija of the LBL, in a 147-142 overtime victory.
According to reports, LaVar apparently talked his way into a coaching role after his sons went scoreless in a combined 14 minutes of play in a 116-93 loss to P. Zvaigzdes of the LBL on Jan. 21.
“[LaVar] will be an assistant coach on game protocol but will drive the team through the game and make many of the decisions,” a team spokesman said on Jan. 23, according to ESPN. “The style that the team is going to play is going to be LaVar’s choice.”
LaVar chose a fast-paced style of play, pushing the ball and shooting quickly on offense, while full-court pressing and trapping on defense. The results led to LaMelo, the youngest Ball at age 16, scoring a game-high 43 points, while LiAngelo, 18, finished with 37 points.
LaVar didn’t coach in Vytautas’ next game, an 86-78 loss to Juventus on Jan. 27. The team returned to its slower pace and LaMelo and LiAngelo scored just 17 points combined in about 12 minutes of action each.
The loss prompted Vytautas to allow LaVar to serve as head coach of the team in its game against Jonava on Jan. 28. LaMelo went on to post a triple double of 40 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds while LiAngelo added 31 points.