Vytautas looking to benefit from the Ball buzz
The reports of LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball signing with Betsafe LKL side Vytautas took the news cycle by storm all across the globe, with the club's management rubbing their hands in glee in the small Lithuanian town of Prienai.
A number of Lithuanian clubs received emails from the basketball agent representing both brothers, but while other teams scoffed at the situation, Vytautas saw an opportunity and gladly took it.
"We saw Lietkabelis publicizing the fact that they have been approached by an agent representing the Ball brothers and we just got in touch with him and put forward the idea of them playing for Vytautas," the club's director Adomas Kubilius walked LKL.LT through the process.
"We committed to giving them opportunities in the Baltic Basketball League. We will have to see about the Betsafe LKL and whether they are good enough to play here."
Kubilius underscored the fact that is primarily a commercial move, but Vytautas is ready to give LiAngelo, 19, and LaMelo, 16, a chance to prove their worth in professional basketball.
"There is a clause to terminate the contract after a month, so it's more of an experiment at this stage," said club's representative. "We committed to giving them opportunities in the Baltic Basketball League. We will have to see about the Betsafe LKL and whether they are good enough to play here."
According to the contract, the brothers are expected to arrive in Lithuania on January 4 with their debut scheduled five days later in a home fixture against Tsmoki Minsk in the BBL.
"We discussed the matter with the coaches and the players. The players took to the idea and found it to be fun – why not give it a try? The coach is also looking forward to the extra challenge," Kubilius explained.
The director of the club sees it as an excellent opportunity both for the club and the country alike. According to Kubilius, the club is now focused on making use of the extra publicity.
The management of the Prienai side is now looking for American companies, who would be interested in becoming a jersey sponsor of the club for a fee of €50,000.
"That is one of our goals," he confirmed.
The arrival of the Ball brothers may still be a month away, but Vytautas are already enjoying the extra buzz that the story has created.