Lonzo Ball is a household name as one of the top NBA prospects in the country. His father, LaVar Ball, has become almost as recognizable given his entertaining interviews and bold statements. Lonzo’s mother, Tina Ball, has shied away from the spotlight.
While Tina can be seen in various interviews seen below with the family, she is more likely to let her husband do the talking for the family. The couple has three sons: Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo. All three of which have become well-known for their basketball abilities, with their oldest son, Lonzo, in the running to be the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The former college basketball player is still involved in sports as the athletic director at a Southern California middle school.
After months of the family’s silence on Tina’s health, LaVar and Lonzo spoke with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne about Tina. They confirmed she did in fact have a stroke but denied speculation regarding the boys not visiting her while she recovers.
“Words really can’t describe how much she does for us,” Lonzo told ESPN The Magazine. “She’s a lot like my dad: energetic … except she’s not crazy on the cameras. She can’t really talk right now, but she definitely knows what we’re saying, and she smiles all the time. So that’s a good thing.”
Get to know the matriarch of the Ball family.
1. Tina Is an Athletic Director at a Southern California Middle School
A passion for sports runs throughout the family. According to Los Angeles Magazine, Tina is the athletic director at a middle school in Montclair, California. The two met while they were playing college basketball at Cal State. Tina’s basketball abilities and physical traits were not lost on LaVar as he explained to CBS Sports.
And I knew they were going to hoop like this from Day 1. That’s why I married my wife. Before they even came out the womb, I said, ‘I’m having three.’ And with the way I’m built, and the way she’s built, I knew I was going to have three killers. So this thing was planned long ago. Because I knew if you put two basketball players together, this is what you’re going to get. I knew this is what we were going to get.
2. A Reporter’s Question to Lonzo Went Viral After Asking About His Mother’s Health
A reporter drew criticism after asking Lonzo about his mother’s health in an NCAA tournament post-game press conference. “Lonzo, I apologize for asking a personal question, but there was a report that your mom had suffered a stroke. I just wanted to know if that was the case and how you’re holding up,” the reporter asked (via USA Today).
“I got no comment on that, man, it’s a family thing,” Lonzo said.
The question was spurred after Armchair All Americans reported the site had been contacted by a member of the Ball family. The source wished to remained anonymous but claimed Tina suffered a stroke on February 21, 2017. The report went on to say Tina remains paralyzed on the right side, and Lavar has not allowed his sons to see their mother.
3. She Met Her Husband, LaVar, When the Two Were College Basketball Players
While LaVar has no problem making brash statements, Tina is more reserved but is active on Twitter. Their personalities may be different, but Tina does not seem to have a problem with her husband’s gift of gab.
“I laugh, because whoever they try to compare my boys to, he’s gonna say they’re better than them. It doesn’t matter who because that’s what he believes. The bar’s high. That’s fine with me,” Tina told CBS News.
4. LaVar Told Tina He “Only Makes Boys”
“When we met he told me were were going to get married and have boys because he only makes boys, of course,” Tina told ESPN in an SC Feature.
LaVar had a dream of having a basketball family as he has made clear during his media rounds. “He’s always had a master plan,” Tina told The Mercury News.
The family has used basketball as a way to bond. How important is basketball to the family? While the Balls exchange gifts on Christmas Day, they also fit their daily basketball workout into their routine.
5. Tina Founded the Big Baller Brand With LaVar & Their 3 Sons
The Balls founded their own clothing company in 2016. According to the Orange County Register, LaVar is meeting with various shoe executives to try to form a partnership with the Big Baller Brand. The family wants to package the three brothers to form an apparel partnership, but this is challenging given LaMelo is still a high school sophomore.
LaVar told the USA Today the family is looking for a billion dollar deal.
“A billion dollars, it has to be there. That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years,” LaVar told USA Today
This is a bit lofty given the only player who currently has a $1 billion shoe contract is LeBron James. James is one of the most recognizable athletes in the entire world.