LaMelo Ball’s High School Team Replaced In Tourney After ‘Consultant’ Requested $10k For LaMelo’s Participation

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LaMelo Ball’s highschool basketball tam Spire Institute was replaced at the Hoophall Classic after an outside consultant tied to the Ball family reportedly requested a $10,000 appearance fee to have Ball and the school appear at the event.

Via Forbes

\ Greg Procino, who organizes the games at Hoophall Classic, received a request for an appearance fee in exchange for having Ball and SPIRE play at the event, Procino balked and SPIRE opted to go elsewhere. Procino said no one from the school or basketball program made the request, but at that it came from an outside “consultant.” Procino said this was the first such request he has received in 10 years of organizing games at the event.

“The school/program did not request money,” Procino wrote in an email. “An outside ‘consultant’ who requested the change in terms did have certain financial requests. We did not pay them to participate and SPIRE decided not to honor the original agreement for Hoophall Classic. We replaced SPIRE with The Patrick School after the final conversation took place. Games are being cancelled with Spire unless the terms are acceptable to the outside consultant. ” Procino said SPIRE played at the Hoophall West event in Scottsdale, Ariz., in December, but that no appearance fee was requested for that event. SPIRE, meantime, will play in a separate event this weekend on Benton, Ky, on “The Grind Session.” The event is being marketed as the “Big Baller Beatdown.”

According to the report SPIRE believes the consultant who made the request for the $10k fee was Ball Sports Group’s managing director Alan Foster.

A source close to SPIRE said Alan Foster, who serves as the the Ball Sports Group’s managing director, is the “consultant” and that he requested $10,000 from the Hoophall. “Alan made certain requests and said LaMelo would not be playing if those requests weren’t met,” the source said.

Foster did not respond to several phone messages, texts and emails requesting comment.

High school basketball teams typically don’t receive outright payments to appear at the Hoophall or other such events, although their travel and hotel expenses are often covered. Jeff Orloff, the Chief Operating Officer of SPIRE, said he was made aware by the Hoophall that financial requests were discussed with the consultant and said the school was reviewing it internally. He said SPIRE does not condone such behavior.

SPIRE has denied involvement in the request made by the “consultant” and is currently looking into the matter internally.

High school basketball teams typically don’t receive outright payments to appear at the Hoophall or other such events, although their travel and hotel expenses are often covered. Jeff Orloff, the Chief Operating Officer of SPIRE, said he was made aware by the Hoophall that financial requests were discussed with the consultant and said the school was reviewing it internally. He said SPIRE does not condone such behavior.

“We have not and did not and will not ask anybody to pay us to play,” Orloff said in a phone interview.

LaMelo has been playing extremely well this year and has had pro scouts checking him out but this is probably not a good look for him if he’s actually trying to play college ball next season.

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