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LiAngelo Ball Signs With Pistons, All 3 Ball Brothers in NBA

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LaVar Ball once vowed that all three of his sons would play in the NBA. It’s finally happening.

What We Know:

  • LiAngelo Ball has signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Pistons, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The deal is non-guaranteed, so LiAngelo will have to earn his roster spot and could be cut from the team at any time, but the famous Ball family has finally gotten all three brothers into the league.
  • The Ball brothers gained notoriety on Instagram when they were in high school. They also gained fame because of their father LaVar, who became a media sensation for his boisterous and overconfident personality.
  • LaVar has attracted attention for his sons by making media appearances, starting the Big Baller Brand for apparel and merchandise, having them play overseas and in his own Junior Basketball Association, and producing a reality TV series about his family called Ball in the Family. He has loudly sung the praises of his kids’ basketball skills and, in his own words, spoken this into existence.
  • Lonzo, the oldest brother, was a top high school and college prospect. He was selected 2nd overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He was sent to the Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade. He hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations of a top draft pick, but he has carved out a solid role for himself as a player with great court vision and perimeter defense.
  • LaMelo, the youngest brother, was recently selected 3rd overall in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. Similar to Lonzo, he is seen as a high-level playmaker. His selection marked the first time that two brothers were both selected in the top 5 of their respective draft classes.
  • LiAngelo’s path to the NBA was the most farfetched of the trio. LiAngelo was never a highly-touted prospect like his brothers and to make things worse, he was arrested in college for shoplifting in China. After that scandal, LaVar pulled both LiAngelo and LaMelo out of school and took them overseas, vowing to have them join Lonzo in the NBA while circumventing the NCAA system.
  • LaMelo’s draft stock continued to rise through overseas play as he impressed scouts in Lithuania and Australia, but LiAngelo continued to struggle to find his way to the NBA. He went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft and was not signed by any teams. He eventually signed with the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA G League in 2019. Unfortunately, he did not play a single game as the G League season was cancelled due to Covid-19.
  • With LiAngelo joining the Pistons and LaMelo joining the Hornets this season, the Ball brothers join the short list of three or more brothers to play in the NBA at the same time. In just the 2019-2020 season, Jrue, Justin, and Aaron Holiday became the first trio of brothers to play in an NBA game at the same time.

Because he made good on his word and got all three of his sons into the NBA, many took to Twitter to praise LaVar Ball for speaking it into existence. LaVar also tweeted how proud he is of his boys.

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Sagar is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo. He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance and Economics. Sagar writes for Black News Alerts and the BNA Daily Podcast. He also produces the BossFM Morning Show.

Headlines

Jets Make History, Hiring Robert Saleh to Become NFL’s First Muslim Head Coach

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The New York Jets have announced their new head coach and the first Muslim coach in NFL history.

What We Know:

  • The Jets recently fired their previous coach, Adam Gase, after going 9-23 last season. Now, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has been hired by the Jets making him the first Muslim head coach in the league’s history.
  • Before signing a 5-year contract with the Jets, the 41-year-old Dearborn, Michigan native spent the last four seasons in Santa Clara, California. Here, Saleh transformed the 49ers‘ poor defense into one of football’s most elite units.
  • Prior to working with the 49ers, Saleh was a defensive assistant for the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Texans. He has had over 16 years of NFL coaching experience and was reportedly eyed by teams in Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and the Los Angeles Chargers before making a deal with the Jets.
  • Saleh’s history-making deal was acknowledged by a Muslim civil rights advocacy group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said, “We welcome this development as another sign of the increasing inclusion and recognition of American Muslims in our diverse society.”

We’re interested to see if Saleh can continue to make history with the Jets.

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Headlines

New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Says He Won’t Accept Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, declined to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday following Trump supporters’ violent ambush at the U.S. Capitol.

What We Know:

  • In a statement, Belichick announced he would not go through with receiving the award after agreeing to accept it prior to last week’s riots in D.C. Belichick said he was flattered to be offered the medal, the country’s highest civilian honor, but the “tragic events of last week occurred, and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.”
  • Having been a noted supporter of the President’s, Belichick says, “above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom, and democracy.” He also mentions to have had “conversations” and “actions” about “social justice, equality and human rights” earlier in the NFL season, which he claims were among the most rewarding in his career.
  • “Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team, and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award,” he said. The award, established in 1963, is given to people who have “made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to the White House.
  • The coach, who claims to stay out of politics, wrote a letter of support to the President in 2015, which Trump then read at a campaign rally in New Hampshire, on the night before the 2016 election. At the time, the candidate claims the letter offered “best wishes for great results” on election day and “the opportunity to make America great again.”

This decision is among the latest of political statements being made by various athletes and sports organizations. On Sunday, The Professional Golfers’ Association of America said that its 2022 championship would not be held at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

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Entertainment

Chris Webber Developing ‘Fab Five’ Limited TV Series

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A Fab Five TV series is in development with Chris Webber involved.

What We Know:

  • The Fab Five was the 1991 University of Michigan Men’s basketball team. Often considered one of the best recruiting classes in college basketball history, the team consisted of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson.
  • Webber will be working with Russel Redeaux, head of development at Cashmere Originals, to develop the series. The series will be based on Webber’s autobiography By God’s Grace, says the Grio.
  • Webber joined the Michigan Wolverines in 1991, eventually becoming NBA Rookie of the Year, a five-time NBA All-Star, and a five-time All-NBA team member. Currently, he works as an NBA analyst for TNT
  • Redeaux told The Hollywood Reporter, “There’s definitely an alignment with our vision at Cashmere Originals to tell multicultural stories of inclusion… with that alignment and me being a guy who grew up in the same era of the Fab Five, it was sort of a dream come true project to bring it into our company fold and work with Chris.”
  • Webber did not participate in the 2011 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the Fab Five, so this will be the first time his point of view will be shared on TV. During the documentary premiere, Webber was estranged from his former teammates and former best friend, Jalen Rose. The documentary was ESPN’s highest-rated documentary at the time, seen by 2.7 million.

“What I think is different about it is I’ve never spoken about my time with the Fab Five…There’s a lot of behind the scenes that not many people know about, and it’s about so many things. Hopefully, I’ll be able to express those things, whether it’s about Detroit or the work ethic of the city and the factories — all those things that made us.” said Webber 

  • The team fell short of an NCAA championship in 1993 due to Webber calling a time-out. Webber called a time-out when the team didn’t have one, leading to North Carolina converting two shots on the technical foul. North Carolina won the championship 77-71.

Webber’s perspective in the series is sure to bring new stories. The series has yet to release a premiere date.

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