MEMPHIS, Tenn. >> Star UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball says he’s one and done at UCLA and headed to the next level.
The guard said Friday night after his team lost to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 that he is moving on from the college game.
“That was my final game for UCLA. I appreciate all the fans and all the support,” Ball said in the UCLA locker room.
Ball was widely expected to declare for the NBA draft after this season. His father, LaVar Ball, has been especially vocal, declaring that the eldest of three hoops-playing brothers is better than NBA MVP Steph Curry.
Ball said he felt bad that he couldn’t carry his team’s seniors to another win in the NCAA Tournament. He says UCLA simply lost to a good team.
Ball was outdueled by Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox on Friday night, scoring just 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Fox scored 39 for the Wildcats.
UCLA coach Steve Alford indicated he wasn’t surprised by Ball’s decision, even saying he assumed it was the end of the freshman’s college career.
“I probably don’t like to assume anything, but he’s pretty good,” Alford said.
He noted that there is a different culture in college basketball than in his playing days at Indiana.
“Guys can make a good living sooner than what it was two decades ago, three decades ago,” Alford said. “We’ve had our share of some very good one-and-dones.”