Tina Ball is a former American basketball player. The basketball aficionados and NBA followers are no strangers to the Ball family surname. However, while LaVar and his sons are always in the limelight; his wife Tina Ball, a renowned basketball player herself, has shied away from media attention for quite some time. During her academic years, Tina was an accomplished basketball player. It was while playing at the court that Tina first caught LaVar’s eye. The two eventually got married. Though Tina hasn’t been involved in the sport actively post marriage and kids, she does serve as the athletic director at Vernon Middle School in Montclair, California. She is also a founding member of the family’s sports brand, ‘Big Baller Brand.’ Tina often stars in the family’s Facebook reality show, ‘Ball in the Family’. Given the Ball’s contribution and dedication to the sport, the family can be called the ‘Kardarshians of basketball’, of which Tina is the main support system.
Rise to Stardom
Tina Ball might be known today as the wife of LaVar Ball and mother of Lonzo Ball, but she is much more than just that. A proficient basketball player, Tina was fond of the sport right from an early age. She mastered it quickly and by the time she was in high school, she became a four-year varsity basketball letter winner. One of the top basketball prospects at that time, she averaged 15.8 points and 18.2 rebounds. To further her career as a basketball player, she became a part of the ‘Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles Womens’ team while in college.
She finished her career ranking eighth in points at 935, fifth in field goal attempts at 1165, fifth in blocks at 60, eighth in field goals made 541, fourth in rebounds at 627, eighth in free throws made at 120, and seventh in free throws attempted at 208. LaVar Ball first saw Tina when she was playing basketball at college. At six feet, her upright frame, dribbling skills and basketball technique immediately intrigued him. After a few years of dating, the two eventually married and Tina raised her three sons, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LeMelo.
Though her sons gained their professional training from LaVar Ball, Tina remained the driving force behind their hard work and determination. Tina did not continue playing basketball professionally, but she continues to contribute to the sport by serving as the athletic director at Vernon Middle School in Montclair, California. Her job involves raising potential NBA stars and teaching PE to middle-schoolers.
In August 2017, Tina Ball and her family premiered in their Facebook show, ‘Ball In The Family’. The reality show documents the life of the Ball family, both personally and professionally. The first episode of the show was viewed by around 26 million people. Tina is also actively involved in her family business, of which she was also one of the founders. ‘The Big Baller Brand’ (3B) includes clothing lines, for both men and women, under the line, Lady 3B and Girl 3B. They also have a 3B shoes line. Like a true backbone, Tina steadily supports her family in all their endeavours. She used to be present at all the matches that her sons played before health complications stopped her from attending them. In February 2017, Tina suffered from a major stroke that left her with aphasia or speech impairment. At that time, Tina couldn’t talk much, though she understood everything. Her condition, however, has improved significantly and she is on her feet, and is able to speak fluently.
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Family & Personal Life
Tina Ball was born as Christina Catherine Slatinsky on December 11, 1967, in Miami, Florida to Robert and Catherine Slatinsky. Right from an early age, Tina took an interest in athletics and sports. As a promising basketball player, she dominated the court seamlessly both in Alta Loma high school and at California State University. In college, Tina represented her institution at the ‘Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles Womens’ team.
Incidentally, Tina found her soulmate at the basketball court as well. According to LaVar, he first saw Tina on the basketball court after he was transferred from West Los Angeles College to Cal State Los Angeles. Almost as if struck by cupid, he could not take his eyes off her. Without wasting a moment, he walked up to her and said, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re gonna be doing something!’ Taken aback by LaVar’s cockiness, Tina was left perplexed.
Interestingly, right at their first meeting, LaVar told her that they would get married one day and have boys, thus starting a legacy of a basketball family. LaVar’s ‘masterplan’ worked, and they indeed have a basketball family. LaVar and Tina got married and have been blessed with three sons, Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo, all of whom are basketball players. While Lonzo is currently a point guard for the ‘Los Angeles Lakers,’ LiAngelo is a shooting guard for the ‘UCLA Bruins’ men's basketball team. Her youngest son LaMelo is a junior point guard at Chino Hills High School. Through Lonzo, she has one granddaughter, Zoey, who is named after her.