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LaVar Ball plans to start league for high school graduates

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LaVar to pay players $3-10k/month in hoops league startup (1:25)

Ryen Russillo and Will Cain outline the Baller Brand Basketball League that LaVar Ball plans to start as an alternative to college for high school grads. (1:25)

LaVar Ball said Wednesday that he is launching a basketball league for nationally ranked players who have graduated from high school but don't want to go to college.

Ball said his Junior Basketball Association -- which he said is fully funded by his Big Baller Brand -- plans to pay the lowest-ranked player a salary of $3,000 a month and the best player $10,000 a month. Ball is looking for 80 players to fill 10 teams that will seek to play at NBA arenas in Los Angeles, Dallas, Brooklyn and Atlanta.

"Getting these players is going to be easy," Ball told ESPN. "This is giving guys a chance to get a jump start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts; and we're going to pay them, because someone has to pay these kids."

Ball said the rules of his league will follow those of the NBA instead of college -- 12-minute quarters and a pro 3-point line.

Ball said he was partly motivated by the comments made earlier in the month by NCAA president Mark Emmert, who was asked at a SportsBusiness Journal conference whether Ball was good or bad for the college game.

"Is this about someone being part of a university and playing basketball or any other sport with that school's jersey on, representing that institution, or is it about preparing me for my career, my professional career as a ballplayer?" Emmert responded, just a few days after Ball's son LiAngelo left UCLA to turn pro before even playing for the school. "If it's the latter, you can do that inside a university and that might be a really good way to go. But if you don't want to and you don't think that it's right for your family, then don't come."

"He was right," Ball said. "Those kids who are one-and-done. They shouldn't be there with the NCAA trying to hold them hostage, not allowing them to keep the jersey they wear while selling replicas of them in stores. So our guy isn't going to go to Florida State for a year. He's going to come to our league."

Ball said that since Big Baller Brand is promoting the league, players will wear the company's products, including BBB shoes and a BBB-branded uniform.

Ball admits there's a lot of work to do to get the league ready. No venues have been rented and ticket prices haven't been set. He also doesn't have any players yet; the league won't include his sons LiAngelo and LaMelo, who have signed with Prienai Birstonas Vytautas in Lithuania.

The logo for the league features a silhouette of Ball's son Lonzo, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, going to the hoop for a dunk.

"We don't need a logo of a guy dribbling," Ball said, in an obvious reference to the NBA's famous Jerry West silhouette. "Nobody does that anymore."

Later on Wednesday, Lonzo said that his father has been working on the league for months and that if it had existed when the NBA rookie was coming out of high school, then he probably would have gone that route.

"Personally, probably," the Lakers point guard said after L.A. beat the Houston Rockets 122-116. "If you know you're going to be a [draft pick], go ahead and get to play versus the top guys in the country and move on with your life."

ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.