Eric Sondheimer has been covering high school sports for the Los Angeles Times since 1997 and in Southern California since 1976. Get his latest from the field and follow all our prep sports coverage and analysis here.

Chino Hills coach refused to add players to team at request of LaVar Ball, superintendent says

LaVar Ball speaks to media during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22. (Mike Stobe / AFP / Getty Images)
LaVar Ball speaks to media during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22. (Mike Stobe / AFP / Getty Images)

Wayne Joseph, the superintendent of the Chino Valley Unified School District, said Tuesday that LaVar Ball had asked Chino Hills coach Dennis Latimore and principal Isabel Brenes to put four players on the varsity basketball team earlier this year. Both refused.

"Now Mr. Ball has decided to take his kid out of Chino Hills," Joseph said. "We respect his decision. He and his wife have done a magnificent job with their kids."

LaVar Ball announced Monday that he would home-school his youngest son, LaMelo, a 16-year-old junior. Brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo now play for the Lakers and UCLA, respectively.

Joseph said that several months ago, Ball approached Latimore, a first-year coach and the third coach in three years at Chino Hills. "He suggested he put four or five kids on varsity," Joseph said.

The superintendent said Latimore went to the principal, Brenes, who then called Joseph.

"I said, 'Listen, this is the coach's decision,'" Joseph said. "Mr. Ball is not the coach."

LaVar Ball said he will train LaMelo himself and let him play in travel ball during the spring and summer.

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