CLEVELAND -- LaMelo Ball is coming to Northeast Ohio. And he's receiving a hero's welcome.
Earlier this week, the former 5-star prospect and youngest brother of the famous Ball family revealed he'll spend the senior season of his high school career at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva. On Friday, a billboard welcoming Ball appeared in downtown Cleveland, -- more specifically on I-90, by West 3rd Street, just minutes from Quicken Loans Arena.
The billboard, which is similar to the LeBron James 'Witness' billboard that used to decorate the Sherwin Williams building, was produced by "Overtime," a self-described "sports network for the digital generation that focuses on the next generation of athletes." Overtime has covered Ball's rise as a prep star and YouTube sensation, as well as his new teammate at SPIRE, 7-foot-7 center Rob Bobroczky.
Although Ball hasn't played high school basketball in the United States in more than a year, his arrival at SPIRE has created the type of fanfare -- and hyperbole -- typically associated with his famous family. Earlier this week, SPIRE head coach Jermaine Jackson told TMZ Sports that he believes the 6-foot-7 point guard possesses the potential to be the No. 1 overall pick, pegging him to of all teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Ain't no question about it. He's known as [a future top pick] all over the world," Jackson said. "He has a talent -- some of it just can't be taught."
A former UCLA commit who spent the last year playing in Lithuania and his father LaVar Ball's JBA, it is believed Ball will be eligible to play for both SPIRE's prep and high school teams, as well at the college level a year from now. The younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball will make his debut for SPIRE on Tuesday when the prep team faces La Lumiere in Indiana.