Lonzo Ball is less than a week away from fulfilling his dream of making it to the NBA, set to be one of the top picks in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Ball could go as high as No. 2 to the Los Angeles Lakers after making his mark at the college level for the UCLA Bruins. The hype surrounding his talent has been loud, but almost equally loud has been the voice of his father LaVar Ball.
That's one of the reasons some question whether Lonzo is worth a top-three pick, drafting not only the talented potential star, but the controversial father behind Big Baller Brand and soundbite after soundbite in recent months.
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Lonzo isn't fazed by the noise, though, and is focused on reaching the next step in his career. He penned a letter to his father on The Players' Tribune Friday, a tribute to the man who helped him become who he is ahead of Father's Day on Sunday.
"Dear Dad," the letter begins. "Over the past few months, you’ve talked a lot about me — maybe more than some people cared for. So with Father’s Day coming up I thought that writing this would be a good way for me to actually say a few things about you.
"They weren’t there when you cleared out our living room so that my brothers and I would have room to play games and just be kids. They’ve never woken up to the smell of one of your signature breakfasts, which you made for us every single day when we were growing up.
And they weren’t there when you were making sure that I always took care of business in the classroom and graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA. But you were," Lonzo opens with.
Lonzo goes on to tell stories of how LaVar kept him and his brothers focused on developing and improving, lending all the support they could ever need to succeed in life. As outspoken as he is, the support he's given his children as a parent is incredibly admirable.
"You haven’t had the easiest life. Everything you’ve got, you’ve had to work for. And you’ve spent your entire adult life instilling that work ethic into me and my brothers to make sure that we never have to face the same challenges that you did. I can’t think of anything else that you could ask for from a dad.
"Thank you for teaching me how to play this game. Thank you for teaching me how to be a man. And thank you for never apologizing for being you. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Love you," Lonzo concluded.
Be sure to check out the full letter on The Players' Tribune to read more about how LaVar helped shape Lonzo into an elite prospect.