Basketball & Race, Charlotte Hornets, NBA

What is LaMelo Ball’s race, ethnicity and background? Is he multiracial?

As the youngest of three brothers and son of Lavar Ball, LaMelo Ball has been in the spotlight for some time.

In the spotlight might be an understatement, there were times when the Ball family was oversaturated on the verge of Kardashian level fame (and at the time, like the Kardashians not having accomplished anything commiserate with their exposure).

Like his brother Lonzo Ball, LaMelo’s skill set is on focused on his flashy playmaking, but at this stage of their development, no doubt “Melo” has a better outside shot and an even better feel for the game. Naturally, Melo lacks some of the strength of his older brother.

Now that LaMelo is finally going to be in the NBA — having been drafted with the #3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft after a few years playing overseas – there will be even more focus on the youngest Ball brother.

What is LaMelo Ball’s race and ethnicity?

And the same questions that surrounded Lonzo will follow LaMelo. One of them around LaMelo’s ethnicity and racial background. It’s natural. The more you are in front of the cameras, the more people are curious about your personal life and we’re certain there’s a lot of people in Charlotte and the North Carolina ae that are curious about LaMelo’s background, too.

Due to his light skin, some have assumed that LaMelo was a light-skinned Black person or was he Dominican?  Maybe he is part Caucasian or maybe has some Filipino blood. Let’s find out.

Let’s start with LaMelo’s mom and dad

Let’s start with the more visible of the LeMelo’s parents. As you may already know, LaVar Ball is the Ball brothers’ outspoken father.

The 6-6 LaVar played basketball for Washington State, but didn’t really make much of a mark. The elder Ball played just one mostly-uneventful season and averaged 2.2 points in 26 games after transferring from a Junior College. After Washington State, he tried his hand at college football with one season with Long Beach City College. LaVar seemed to have more potential on the gridiron than on the court; becoming a practice player for a couple NFL teams (Carolina Panthers and New York Jets) and playing for the World League of American Football.

Now as far as what Lavar’s race is, we don’t have any first-person comments from Ball himself, but do have a couple online references mostly in reference as his being a role model as a Black father.

LaVar is a proud Black man and an even prouder father who takes no shorts when it comes to his sons and their success (The Shadow League)

Known as the outspoken patriarch of the Ball family, LaVar has captured the attention of the sports world by basically saying whatever comes to his mind, like when he said he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one. Many in the sports community criticize his in-your-face style, but within the black community, I believe he has earned a lot of respect (USA Today)

And this Instagram post from rapper 2 Chainz


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 2 Chainz Aka Tity Boi (@2chainz)

If the online references are correct than LaVar is Black now let’s look at the other half of LaMelo’s parents.

LeMelo’s mother is Tina Ball (nee Slatinsky) and is a former 6-1 college basketball player. As far as her background is concerned, Slatinsky hasn’t commented directly as to her ethnicity or family tree. That said, with her blond hair and blue eyes, Slatinsky appears to be Caucasian.

According to, the surname identifies as “white” nearly 90% of the time (at least in the United States).

What is LeMelo’s Race and Ethnicity?

There aren’t direct comments or online references that tells us how LaMelo identifies. We know one thing is for sure, he’s American. From our research, if LaVar is considered Black and by all appearances, Tina Ball is white. With those data points, that would make LaMelo (as well as Lonzo) mixed race, or more accurately biracial or multiracial.

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