LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball turn pro with club team in Lithuania

LaVar Ball, father of Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball, watches the Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

A professional Lithuanian basketball club signed LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball to pro contracts, making LaVar Ball’s two younger sons ineligible for college basketball.

The move comes after LiAngelo left UCLA , where he was suspended after his shoplifting arrest during the team’s season-opening trip to China.

LaVar Ball recently removed 16-year-old LaMelo from Chino Hills High in California. His oldest son, Lonzo, is a rookie with the Lakers.

The Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas club, which plays in the Lithuanian league, said in a statement the brothers will report in early January. Their contracts run through the end of the current season.

”We are committed to their long-term success and development as professional basketball players,” said Vilius Vaitkevicius, the team’s sports director.

The Balls won’t be the first Americans to play for the club. Brad Tinsley, a former Vanderbilt guard, played for Prienai-Birstonas Vytautus between August and October. Tinsley declined to comment on his brief time with Prienai-Birstonas Vytautus when contacted Tuesday by The Associated Press.