The Ball brothers could be in for an interesting time in Lithuania.
Earlier this week, brothers LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball signed on to play professional basketball in Lithuania - opting to suit up for Prienu Vytautas. One former college basketball star, who also played in Lithuania, thinks they're making a terrible decision.
Ben Brust, who played for Wisconsin and signed with BC Pieno Zvaigzdes back in October of 2016, predicts the brothers won't last a month playing in Lithuania. He painted a grim picture of what it's like to play there.
“I think they’ll last a month maximum,” Brust said. “It seems like the worst possible place they could have picked.”
In October 2016, Brust signed with BC Pieno Zvaigždės of the Lithuanian League six months after helping lead Wisconsin to the Final Four and a few days after the Milwaukee Bucks cut him during training camp. The culture shock he experienced during his lone season in Lithuania left him more homesick than he expected.
Hardly anyone in the 7,500-person village of Pasvalys spoke English. Restaurants typically only served traditional Lithuanian dishes unrecognizable to Brust. He and American teammates Michael Dixon Jr. and Alex Oriakhi had to drive 30 to 40 minutes to the nearest big city to find a mall, a grocery store or restaurants that offered American fare.
Only time will tell if it winds up being a good move for the Balls. But it looks like they're in for some serious culture shock in just a few weeks.