Category: Blog

JBA Baller Quan VanPutten Interview

Quan VanPutten was one of the seven players selected to play on the New York Ballers team in Lavar Ball’s new Junior Basketball Association League. Quan tried out at the JBA tryout last week and made the team. I caught up with him to find out more about his experience at the tryout.

Daniel Flores (DF): Where were you previously playing basketball before you tried out for the JBA?

Quan VanPutten (QV): I was playing at Dutchess Community College preparing my grades and training my body for next season and my plan was to go the long route of playing college basketball through JUCO and going D1 to get to the NBA.

DF: Why did you decide to try out for the JBA?

QV: Honestly I tried out for the JBA for fun. I was helping the younger guys that were out at the try out and explaining to them what it takes to play college basketball. Let alone going pro and explaining all the training that goes into it.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

QV: My goal in my basketball career is to be one of the greatest to play this game.

DF: What are your best attributes in basketball?

QV: My best attributes are passing, shooting, defense, communication, attacking, and just being a leader.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

QV: I relate my game to James Harden because we’re both left handed. He set the bar so high for left handed players that I have to reach and surpass his level.

DF: What was it like talking to Lavar Ball?

QV: Talking to Lavar and his brother Lorenzo felt normal because I look at them as human beings. Their personalities are really down to earth.

DF: Do you think your team (the New York Ballers) can beat Lamelo and the Los Angeles team?

QV: Lamelo is a human being last time I checked. One player can’t beat a team. A team can beat a team. The New York squad we have can beat anyone.

JBA Baller Demba Thimbo Interview

This past Sunday Lavar Ball’s new league the Junior Basketball Association (JBA for short) had their final try out in New York. Seven players were selected to the New York Ballers and Demba Thimbo was one of them. I caught up with Demba to find out more about him and his experience at the tryout.

Daniel Flores (DF): Where are you from?

Demba Thimbo (DT): I’m from Montreal Canada.

DF: What are your measurements?

DT: I’m 7’1 240.

DF: Where were you previously playing basketball before you tried out for the JBA?

DT: I was playing at TBA Prep in Toronto.

DF: Why did you decide to try out for the JBA?

DT: I saw playing in the JBA as a great opportunity to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA. I think they have the tools to help me make it a reality.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

DT: Playing professional basketball most likely in the NBA.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

DT: Joel Embiid

DF: If Lamelo Ball plays on the Los Angeles Ballers, do you think your team (the New York Ballers) can beat his team?

DT: My team from New York is pretty stacked, guys are really hungry and unselfish. I think we have a great shot to take down Lamelo’s team.

Follow Demba on Instagram @_24demz for more on his journey to the JBA.

At the time this was published Demba was still on the New York Ballers, but he has confirmed that he was “traded” and will be playing with the Los Angeles Ballers.

JBA Baller CJ Mchenry Interview

CJ Mchenry went to the Junior Basketball Association (JBA for short) Philadelphia try out. CJ made the JBA team however he won’t be playing on the Philadelphia squad, he will play on either the Seattle team or the Chicago team. I caught up with CJ and he explains the whole process of being an alternate and playing in Seattle or Chicago.

DF: Where were you previously playing before you tried out for the JBA?

CJ: I had previously tried out for my college team FSCJ down in Florida, and ended up not receiving any calls back after tryouts meaning I wasn’t selected for one of the five available spots.

DF: Why did you decide to try out for the JBA?

CJ: I wanted to try out for the JBA because it was another opportunity to be able to do what I love, and have the ability to continue doing that for the rest of my life.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

CJ: My ultimate goal is the NBA. But I feel like the JBA will give me that chance to better prepare and strengthen myself along the way.

DF: What are your best attributes in basketball?

CJ: I’d say my best attributes would be that I am very athletic. I can jump out the gym. I have strong defensive presence anywhere on the court with my great ability to block or disturb shots. Also my ability to shoot from deep and easily finish around the rim.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

CJ: I would much compare myself to Giannis from the Bucks, but I’ve been called baby KD because of my ability to shoot the ball and because of my height being 6’5.

Daniel Flores (DF): Can you explain the process of what it was like to be selected to play on a different JBA team?

CJ Mchenry: The whole experience was crazy. I didn’t think I would get picked but when they called my number along with 3 other guys, we talked and the first thing they told us was that weren’t selected to the Philly team. Instead we would be playing for Seattle or Chicago, and then he welcomed us to the JBA and let us know we made it. It was, I felt the need to cry but I had to hold it together. This is just a great dream come true and I’m glad I got the opportunity to showcase my talent.

JBA Baller Josh Brewer Interview

Josh Brewer is another player who was selected to play in Lavar Ball’s new Junior Basketball Association league. Josh made the cut after trying out this past Saturday at the Philadelphia try out. He will play on the Philadelphia Ballers team. I caught up with Josh to find out more about him and how the try out went.

Daniel Flores (DF): Where were you previously playing before you tried out for the JBA?

Josh Brewer (JB): I was at a prep school in Ohio called Spire Academy.

DF: Why did you decide to try out for the JBA?

JB: I felt as if it would put myself on a bigger and better platform to display my talents to a bigger audience.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

JB: My goal is to play professional basketball getting paid to play the game I love at the highest level.

DF: What are your best attributes in basketball?

JB: I can jump out the gym with a 36 inch vertical at 6’5 and I can shoot the ball really well. I’m good in a lot of areas which makes me a great player.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

JB: I would say my game is like Victor Oladipo, athletic guard who can score and defend.

Click here for some of Josh’s highlights.

From Homeless To Getting Cut In High School Jaylen Nixon Signs Pro Contract With JBA

Every basketball player has a story, Jaylen Nixon has one of trial and triumph. Lavar Ball’s new Junior Basketball Association League (JBA for short) gives the opportunity for players to tryout and hopefully make the team and sign a pro contract. Jaylen is one of the players who tried out and made the Philadelphia Ballers team. I caught up with Jaylen to find out more about his experience at the tryout. He also gave his story on why he is grateful for Lavar Ball, the Big Baller Brand and the JBA.

“My name is Jaylen Nixon I’m 20 years old and I’m from Norfolk Virginia. Basketball always has been a dream of mine since I was very young. I started taking basketball serious around my senior year of high school, because I got cut from the varsity team my freshman, Sophomore, and junior year.”

“During those three years of high school my living situation wasn’t the best because my mother lost her job, that caused me, my mom, and my other two siblings to be homeless. While we were moving from multiple shelters around the Virginia area, my mom became very ill with pneumonia to the point of mobility paralysis.”

“At this point I wasn’t focused on basketball at all. I was just worried about taking care of my mom and pushing her around in a wheelchair, helping her at home with therapy and anything else she needed. I also used to play with my brothers and sister at the shelters we stayed in.”

“Through home therapy and God, she was able to gain her full mobility back.”

“One day my best friend Raheem White was murdered in Norfolk Virginia at the age of 18 in the area were most of my friends grew up. Norfolk in the past 5 or 6 years has been in countless discussions for one of the most dangerous cities on the East Coast. After that tragedy I didn’t want to be a statistic or put myself in that predicament.”

“My best friend and I use to play in a church league. He would always tell me how one day I was going to go pro. I use to laugh at it because I didn’t think that was attainable for me.”

“I played my senior year and didn’t get a lot of playing time. I was known as a “late bloomer.” I went from 5’10 senior year then I moved to Philadelphia and shot up to 6’3. The reason I moved to Philadelphia was to explore more options for my life, as far as looking for small schools or junior colleges that would take a chance on me.”

“I played a year of junior college basketball at Community College of Philadelphia as a walk-on, where I got a conference championship. I was conference player of the year as a freshman, first team all region and conference, while averaging 22 points and 6 rebounds.”

“After the season I did not have any major schools or offers, so being a fan of the Big Baller Brand I followed the JBA because I knew this was the opportunity to get my name out to the basketball world. Although I wasn’t on any recruiting databases for D1 or D2 colleges, I knew I was just as good as any of those players on the next level.”

Daniel Flores (DF): What is your goal in your basketball career?

Jaylen Nixon (JN): My dream is to play pro basketball anywhere it doesn’t matter.

DF: What are some of your best attributes in basketball?

JN: Some of my best attributes are my explosiveness, athleticism, finishing around the basket, three pointers and finding the open man.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

JN: I don’t compare myself to anyone, I think my game is unique.

DF: Did you meet Lavar or speak to him?

JN: Lavar did not come to the Philadelphia try out, but I did meet his brother and the Big Baller Brand team. They’re great people, you can tell it’s a truly owned family brand, great people great atmosphere and a lot of praise. They want to see everyone succeed.

JBA Baller Harrison Rieger Interview

The Junior Basketball Association (JBA for short) had their second to last tryout yesterday in Philadelphia. Harrison Rieger was one of the players who tried out and was selected as an alternate. It was announced later that he will play for the Chicago Ballers. I caught up with the Harrison to find out more about him and the tryout.

Daniel Flores (DF): Where were you previously playing before you tried out for the JBA?

Harrison Rieger (HR): I previously played basketball at Camden County College before this.

DF: Why did you try out for the JBA?

HR: Opportunity of a lifetime so I couldn’t pass it up.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

HR: To play overseas hopefully after the season and one day maybe play in the league.

DF: What are your best attributes in basketball?

HR: My best attributes are probably defense and getting to the hole and three point shooting.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

HR: Everyone I play with relates me to a white person in the league, so mostly Gordon Hayward and Kristaps Porzingis lol.

The final JBA tryout will be held Today in NYC.

JBA Baller Breydon Hargrove Interview

Breydon Hargrove is another one of the players who tried out and made the Chicago Ballers Junior Basketball Association (JBA for short) basketball team. I caught up with Breydon to find out more about him and how the tryout went.

Daniel Flores: (DF) Where were you previously playing basketball before you tried out for the JBA?

Breydon Hargrove: (BH) Well I had just finished up my season playing prep basketball this past March in Pennsylvania.

DF: Why did you decide to tryout for the JBA?

BH: Because It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I believe it’s going to change college/amateur/pro basketball forever.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

BH: My goal is to play overseas. But if I work hard enough and I put my mind to it I have no doubt I could make it to the NBA.

DF: What are your best attributes in basketball?

BH: I don’t think I really have one because I believe I excel in every aspect of the game whether its dribbling, defense, shooting, or rebounding. But if I had to pick it would be my IQ.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

BH: I think I play like a mixture of Lebron not because of his build but because of my IQ and how I’m a willing passer and the way he dissects the game to make it easier for him and his teammates. I feel I am different because a lot of guards are one way players however I play both ends of the court going 100%. My mindset is to not let my man score and be productive on offense whether it’s scoring or getting my teammates involved.

DF: What was it like meeting Lonzo Ball?

BH: It was cool meeting him, I’m not a person that really gets star struck by people and my focus was getting a spot on the team so Lonzo was like the last thing I was worried about. But he is a cool guy, he liked my game and was one of the reasons I made the team so I told him I appreciate him for that.

JBA Baller Antonio Singleton Interview

This past Sunday the Junior Basketball Association (JBA for short) had their Chicago tryout. Antonio Singleton was one of the players picked to play on the Chicago Ballers team in Lavar Ball’s new JBA league. I caught up with Antonio to find out more about how the tryout went.

Daniel Flores (DF): Where Were you previously playing before you tried out for the JBA?

Antonio Singleton (AS): I was playing at a JUCO called Dakota College in North Dakota. I traveled all the way from North Dakota to the tryout in Chicago. But I’m from Indiana.

DF: Why did you decide to tryout for the JBA?

AS: I tried out for the JBA because when I first heard about it and got all the details on it, I passionately felt that I needed to tryout. If I didn’t make it I would just go back to my original plan and go the school route.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

AS: My goal in basketball is to become an NBA player and actually achieve many goals and strive to one day be MVP. I feel I can accomplish anything I put my mind too and no one can stop that.

DF: What are your best attributes in basketball?

AS: My best attributes are my speed, my mid range jumper and my jumping ability. My three point shot fell off a little bit this past season, but I can always get better training and perfecting my craft.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

AS: I don’t know who in the NBA my game is most like, but Kevin Durant is my favorite player.

DF: What was it like meeting Lonzo Ball?

AS: It was a little awkward because low key I think he’s the same age as me, but if I put in work, him and his families business will put me in the best shot to achieve my dreams on a national stage. But it’s so cool because he is a Laker and it would be dope to be a Laker.

JBA Baller Jordan Ray Interview

Jordan Ray is another player who tried out at the Junior Basketball Association Atlanta tryout. He was selected to play for the Atlanta Ballers in Lavar Ball’s new JBA league. I caught up with Jordan to get more insight about him and the tryout.

Daniel Flores (DF): Where were you previously playing before you tried out for the JBA?

Jordan Ray (JR): I was playing AAU on the EYBL Circuit, and I also was playing on my high school team. I didn’t play this year because I fractured my ankle at the beginning of the season. My senior year is coming to an end.

DF: Why did you decide to tryout for the JBA?

JR: I decided to play for the JBA because it’s the best decision for me and we’re going to change the world. Think outside the box.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

JR: My goal in my basketball career is to be the best player to ever touch the ball.

DF: What are your best attributes in basketball?

JR: My best attributes are shooting, leadership, passing, and defense.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

JR: My basketball game is like Stephen Curry at the moment but I’ll be better one day.

DF: What was it like meeting Lavar Ball?

JR: I didn’t meet Lavar at the tryout but he’s cool though. I’ve met him before.

DF: What was it like meeting Lonzo.

JR: It was great catching up with Zo, we just are trying to put on for our home state. He’s doing a great job, I’m just trying to do the same. Cali Born!

JBA Baller Isom Butler Interview

The Junior Basketball Association (JBA for short) had their Atlanta tryouts on Saturday. Lakers star point guard Lonzo Ball son of JBA founder Lavar Ball, made an appearance at the tryout. Five players were selected to play for the Atlanta Ballers and Isom Butler was one of them. I caught up with Isom to find out more about his experience at the tryout.

Daniel Flores (DF): Where were you previously playing before you tried out for the JBA?

Isom Butler (IB): I took the year off and reclassified to the class of 2018.

DF: Why did you decide to tryout for the JBA?

IB: I decided to try out because it was a life changing opportunity that I couldn’t let pass.

DF: What is your goal in your basketball career?

IB: My goal is to continue to keep getting paid to play basketball and one day become a NBA player.

DF: What are your best attributes in basketball?

IB: My defense and my ability to get to the rim at ease and slash.

DF: Who in the NBA is your game most like?

IB: My game is most like a cross between Rondo and Jimmy Butler.

DF: What was it like meeting Lavar Ball?

IB: Lavar is down to earth and a man you can really gain a lot of knowledge from if you listen to him.

DF: What was it like meeting Lonzo?

IB: Lonzo is a super humble guy and a funny guy.