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Social media all over LaMelo Ball’s MB1 launch and whether he’ll be play at UCLA

At 16, he’s got his own shoe when many teens are just hoping to borrow the car

Love them or hate them, you can’t deny the hustle of the Ball family.

Thursday morning, LaMelo Ball debuted his signature Big Baller Brand shoe with a music video reminiscent of Shad Moss’ Kurtis Blow-inspired hit. The video featured a verse with surprisingly solid wordplay from big brother Lonzo (Please accept that Melo dip in the Lamb dipping/Got his own shoe ’cause it’s only fitting is a bar), along with flashy handles, impossible shots and vehicles with a combined value of roughly $400,000.

The first colorway of the Melo Ball 1s, or MB1s, sports a woven camouflaged upper with a bright red sole and heel. Much like the ZO2 Primes, the low-cut MB1’s were “meticulously designed” by the shoe’s namesake and are “one of the lightest shoes on the market,” according to the Big Baller website. The starting retail price is $395, $100 less than the ZO2 Primes.

With the MB1, the 16-year-old added to the list of unprecedented activities that have defined the Balls: the first high school player to have a signature shoe, the youngest player to ever have a signature shoe and, perhaps, the first player to enter college with his own brand.

Minutes after the shoes were revealed, social media launched into frenzy over how this will affect LaMelo’s NCAA eligibility. He has committed to play at UCLA, but the NCAA says a player cannot directly benefit from financial contracts and items bearing his name while a student-athlete. The issue likely won’t be formally resolved until Ball formally accepts a scholarship.

It seems like forever ago when LaVar Ball first entered public consciousness talking about how his three sons would get three full rides to UCLA, be three one-and-dones and, finally, all don Los Angeles Lakers uniforms. While some were quick to assert that the high school phenom’s collegiate hoop dreams were now nothing more than a fantasy, others took the comedic route, focusing on the uncertainty of the situation. The results were hilarious, to say the least:

Others compared their own lives to the notion of a high schooler having his own signature shoe.

Although LaVar Ball seemed unconcerned about whether this would impact LaMelo’s eligibility, the timing to reveal the shoe could not have been any better. The BBB recently received a Jay-Z cosign, the family’s new Facebook reality series titled Ball In The Family premiered and LaMelo recently played in the most hyped AAU game to date.

LaMelo already has his own shoe, more Instagram followers than both the Under Armour Basketball and the Adidas Basketball accounts and a vehicle many will work for their whole lives yet still won’t be able to afford. All thanks to the hustle of LaVar Ball.

C. Isaiah Smalls, II is a Rhoden Fellow and a graduate of Morehouse College from Lansing, Michigan. He studied Cinema, Television and Emerging Media Studies. He was Editor-in-Chief of The Maroon Tiger.