Sunday, June 16, 2024

LaVar Ball knows exactly what young athletes need: A set of $1,850 exercise bars

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LaVar Ball has raised three sons who play professional basketball, two of whom were top-three NBA draft picks.

So any advice the Big Baller Brand co-founder and CEO has to give on helping develop a child’s athletic development is worth listening to, right?

Well, that might depend on how much spare cash you have lying around.

Ball recently posted a video to Instagram in which he hawked some exercise bars he says are essential “if you want to invest in your kid.”

That investment?

A mere $1,850 for an outdoor set that includes a pull-up bar, a dip bar and a push-up bar.

In the video — which features middle son LiAngelo Ball, who plays for the NBA G League, doing an impressive number of chin-ups on the set’s pull-up bar in the background — LaVar Ball provides a testimonial sure to tug on the heartstrings (and purse strings) of parents everywhere.

“If you want to get a jump on their strength training, this is what you’ve got to put in your yard. Go to BBB Fabrication and my guy will hook these up for you for $1,850. And I tell you what, you will have a good athlete,” said the man whose oldest son, Lonzo Ball, was drafted No. 2 overall by the Lakers in 2017 and currently plays for the Chicago Bulls, and youngest son, LaMelo Ball, was picked No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Hornets in 2020.

“Get this setup if you want to invest in your kid and he wanna be stronger than the rest, BBB style. Go to BBB Fabrication, trust me when I tell you.”

When his sons were younger, LaVar Ball has said, he’d have them train by running the hills at the park near their Chino Hills home. He did not respond to The Times’ request for comment in regard to this story.

BBB Fabrication is a Rialto-based company owned by Jamie Luzano, who refers to Ball as a “partner” in his business.

“Me and LaVar go back a long time,” Luzano told The Times. “I’ve been fabricating for 15 years and he helped me out getting on my feet with my own business.”

According to the BBB Fabrication website, the company specializes in “custom-made ornamental iron gates and fences, metal combined with wood gates, metal combined with composite wood gates, exterior and interior handrails… and just about anything you can think of made from metal.” Luzano said his company has created exercise bars for a handful of customers and that $1,850 is a “ballpark” price based on the setup created specifically for Ball.

“That’s materials, labor, color coat,” Luzano said. “That’s not including shipping, not including installation.”

Some may have their doubts about a high-priced item endorsed by Ball — who can forget the Big Baller Brand ZO2 shoes that sold for $495 but “exploded,” Lonzo Ball has said, after minimal use? But Luzano said his work with BBB Fabrication is of the highest quality, with custom designs and powder coating of any color.

“We use nothing but the best material,” Luzano said. “… It’s race car material, so the steel is really, really strong.”

Is all that really necessary though? Certified strength and conditioning specialist Lucas Quinn calls the notion of spending that much money on that kind of equipment “ridiculous.”

“There’s a lot of other much cheaper and much more effective options I think that are available for athletes, particularly developing athletes, to work on their strength, their balance and just their overall athleticism,” said Quinn, who owns the LQ Sports Performance training center in Westlake Village.

Quinn listed a number of physical activities that require little to no equipment and are effective ways to help develop young athletes. Push-ups, pull-ups and chin-ups were among them.

“So spending that type of money on those exercises … especially a little shy of $2,000 for just some bars in the ground seems like a ripoff to me.” Quinn said.

“I actually own a training facility, so I know the cost of all this equipment. The amount of items, the amount of equipment I could get for $2,000 could be much more effective compared to just some holes dug in the ground.”

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