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LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball arrive in Lithuania

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Basketball player Lamelo Ball arrives at Vilnius airport in Lithuania, on Jan. 3.
(Petras Malukas / AFP/Getty Images )

The brothers of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball landed in rainy Lithuania on Wednesday night to start their career at a local basketball club.

The 19-year-old LiAngelo and his younger brother LaMelo, who is 16, signed professional one-year contracts with BC Prienai last month.

“It’s surely no California and it’s cold, but I think we will like it here,” LeMelo told reporters as they walked through the crowd toward the “Party Bus,” which was to take them to Prienai — about 68 miles south of Vilnius, the capital.

The brothers arrived with their father LaVar Ball, creator of Big Baller Brand.

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LiAngelo and LaMelo are expected to make their debut on Jan. 9, when BC Prienai hosts Tsmoki-Minsk in a Baltic league game.

Most tickets for that night at the 1,200-seat arena have already been sold, according to the box office.

BC Prienai, which was the only team in the league without foreign players, finished sixth in the Lithuanian league last year.

In basketball-crazy Lithuania, the game is often dubbed the “second religion” and attracts huge crowds to arenas even in small towns. There have been several Lithuanian players on NBA teams, including Portland Trail Blazers center Arvydas Sabonis and Zydrunas “Big Z” Ilgauskas of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The national team has claimed numerous titles including winning the FIBA EuroBasket three times and has three Olympic bronze medals.

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