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February 26, 2016: Ball Brothers and Chino Hills Destroy Mater Dei

Ball Brothers

Ball Brothers
(Monica Almedia/The New York Times)

I remember when the Ball Brothers first started getting traction. The trio led Chino Hills High School to national – even worldwide – recognition. In 2016, the Huskies could not be stopped. They finished the season 35-0, winning the CIF State Championship and rising to No. 1 on pretty much every national ranking out there.

Five years ago today, the Chino Hills Huskies absolutely destroyed Mater Dei in the CIF-SS Semifinals. The final score was 102-54. It was the greatest high school basketball performance I have ever seen. The full game is available for viewing below, and I highly recommend giving it a watch.

Chino Hills outplayed the Monarchs from the opening tip. Mater Dei aren’t pushovers either. They had four Division I players in their starting lineup, and are one of the most competitive private schools in the country for athletics. Mater Dei is frequently nationally ranked in basketball.

It seemed like the Huskies couldn’t miss. They jumped a ton of Mater Dei passing lanes and finished the first quarter up 33-6. If Chino Hills had decided after halftime to not count any buckets towards their score, they still would have won.

LiAngelo Ball led all scorers with 34 points. Lonzo finished with a 25-point night and a near-quadruple-double. Eli Scott added 23 points of his own. Altogether, the Ball Brothers combined for 69 points.

Again, this isn’t something that just happens. Beating a nationally-ranked opponent by 48 points? This game was historic. As one YouTube commenter said:

You will never ever see a public school take down such a well-regarded athletic private school like this ever again.

“Dirty Dan”, YouTube Comment

Where Are They Now?

The Huskies pretty much ran their starting five for the entirety of the contest. Some have called it the greatest starting five in high school basketball history. Where are they now?

Lonzo Ball, the starting point guard, was taken second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft after an excellent freshman season at UCLA. He currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Shooting guard LaMelo Ball was recently selected third overall in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He is averaging better 14 points, six rebounds, and six assists in his rookie campaign. Many have tabbed him as the favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year.

Eli Scott, the small forward, went to Division I Loyola-Marymount as a three-star recruit. He is averaging 17.8 points per game in his senior season.

LiAngelo Ball started at power forward for Chino Hills. He was their leading scorer in both his junior and senior seasons. He committed to UCLA, but did not finish his freshman season after some legal issues. Since then, he has bounced around professional leagues, most recently signing a contract to play in the G League Bubble.

Onyeka Okongwu, the starting center, went on to play a season at USC, where he garnered All-Pac-12 First Team honors. The Atlanta Hawks selected Okongwu sixth overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.

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