What happened to Tina Ball? People curious after Lonzo and LaMelo's NBA face-off

Leigh McManus May 10, 2021
What happened to Tina Ball? People curious after Lonzo and LaMelo's NBA face-off
Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images

What happened to Tina Ball? People are wondering about the stroke that the former college basketball player suffered after her sons Lonzo and LaMelo Ball faced off yesterday, 9 May, in a Hornets vs Pelicans showdown.

Who is Tina Ball?

The 6ft 1in former Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles player is perhaps most famous because she is the mother of two NBA stars: New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball, 23, and Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo, 19.

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Tina has another son, LiAngelo Ball, also a basketball player, with her husband, former football player LaVar Ball.

The 53-year-old, originally from Miami, Florida, was the athletic director at Vernon Middle School in Montclair, California. Along with a stint as a physical education teacher, she worked at the school for 24 years.

She married LaVar Ball in 1997. In August 2017, Ball and her family premiered in their Facebook reality show, Ball In The Family.

Since on 9 May (Mother’s Day), her sons, Lonzo and LaMelo, led their teams in a Pelicans vs Hornets face-off, fans are curious as to what happened to Tina Ball.

What happened to Tina Ball?

In February 2017 Tina suffered a serious stroke that kept her in the hospital for two-and-a-half months and cost her the ability to speak.

“She can’t really talk right now,” Lonzo said in an ESPN The Magazine feature published in May 2017, where he explained what happened in the aftermath of Tina’s stroke.

She has since regained the ability to walk but still suffers from aphasia, which limits her verbal communication.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, “aphasia is a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written.”

The New York Post described LaVar Ball as “infamously loudmouthed,” for his constant promotion of his sons. However, the 53-year-old has been tight-lipped on his wife, Tina’s condition.

But he did offer an insight into his feelings about her when brushing off criticism for marketing his sons whilst Tina is in poor health. He said: “Everybody was like, ‘What is LaVar doing?’ Don’t worry about what I’m doing. I take care of mine.”

He continued: “She’s the one. Just so smooth. She’s not like other girls. She’s tough, smart, pretty. I told my wife, ‘I been with you so long, you can have one eye drooped and your mouth over here like this and you’re still beautiful to me. I look at you the same way. That ain’t gonna never change.'”

During an interview on The Woj Pod with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN in October 2019, Lonzo Ball revealed that his mother goes to physical therapy five times a week.

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He added: “Everybody sees my dad in the media so everybody thinks he has a big role, obviously he does in the family. But my mom is kind of the person who held everything together. If you ask anybody in the family, that’s the only person my dad would listen to, honestly. When she went down, it was tough for everybody.

“That’s the first time I’ve seen my dad cry. It was tough on the family and it just hits you different. Obviously, it’s a long journey with her. The whole time we know she’s strong but it’s tough just being with her the last couple years and seeing everything she has to go through.”

The New Orleans Pelicans point guard added that after what happened, Tina Ball is “strong” and “getting back,” saying that she now “understands everything,” and the focus is now on “getting her speech out.”

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Leigh is a 26-year-old journalist from the north of Ireland. He studied International Journalism at Liverpool John Moores University, where he earned a 2:1 grade. He has worked for Mail Online and has experience with the Liverpool Echo, Irish Mirror and SWNS. Leigh is also a huge music fan and has his own show on a community radio station.