aau by Matthew McKibben July 27, 2017
The hype around high school and AAU basketball has been building for years.
That excitement culminated last night when LaMelo Ball and Zion Williamson faced off in an exhibition game at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas where there were between 3,000 and 4,000 people on hand to watch the prized teenage recruits.
Another 1,500 people were left outside waiting to get in, even LeBron James was turned away at the door because of the the amount of people that would lose their shit.
There was some talk about canceling the game due to the crowd size but police and fire department officials eventually decided they could manage the crowd.
NBA players Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, Thon Maker, Eric Gordon, and Lonzo Ball were all in attendance.
Went on the @Ballislife Facebook Live to see some LaMelo vs Zion and not only are 73.3K+ people watching, but Damian Lillard is really there pic.twitter.com/tUFrScPy7z
— Reggie Chatman Jr. (@ReggieChatman) July 27, 2017
“Unreal,” Kansas coach Bill Self told ESPN. “Never seen anything like it.”
The game was broadcasted on the Ballislife website and streamed on Facebook live, drawing over 100,000 viewers.
The play on the court was often sloppy and resembled a pickup game at the playground more than anything. In the end there were several highlight plays and the Big Ballers lost 104-92.
But LaVar Ball, the BBB coach, made sure the fans were entertained.
“They’re gonna have to get a bigger venue,” LaVar said after the game.
“When the Big Baller Brand come to town, better get something big.”
LaVar is known for making hyperbolic statements but this one may ring true.
As AAU continues to grow in popularity and these high school athletes develop enormous profiles on YouTube and Instagram they will continue to draw kids to their games.
“Hope y’all enjoyed the show,” LaVar called out as he entered his van with the team.