We Ballin’ – An Unauthorized Biography By Marissa Mitchell
What I Learned from LaVar Ball
about Basketball, Business, and Bravado
Growing up near LaVar Ball was beyond interesting to teenager Marissa Mitchell. A quiet, studious girl, she was fascinated by the boisterous man that lived in her neighborhood. Marissa began training with LaVar while his sons were still very young, becoming his first protégé. LaVar put her through the paces, seemingly testing on her the training methods he would one day use on his sons.
LaVar grew up within the inner city of Los Angeles and took part of the hood with him to the city of Chino Hills. There, he raised three amazingly athletic sons. Marissa couldn’t believe she was a part of this dynamic, loving family. After she graduated college and began her teaching career, she reunited with LaVar with the idea to write his biography. Once she was back in the circle, she was tasked with becoming a Jill-of-all-trades for Big Baller Media. During this time, Marissa interviewed LaVar repeatedly, questioning him as to how the Ball brothers ascended to national stardom. She applied for trademarks, set up the company website, corresponded with news outlets, and continued to work on the book. Ultimately, she was unceremoniously fired after attempting to receive compensated for her services and establishing a legitimate contract.
In We Ballin’, Marissa looks back on the wild ride that was the LaVar Ball experience from his early days to his very public Twitter war with Donald Trump and beyond. Through it all, she examines how LaVar was able to harness his sheer determination in preparing his sons for professional basketball and build a company that was intended to become a disrupter in the sports industry.
Her story takes the reader on a wild ride as she examines how LaVar Ball was able to succeed, the amazing techniques he used to train his boys to play basketball, and how they all handled the onslaught of publicity that followed them everywhere they went. Was LaVar Ball a calculating businessman, a carnival barker, or something in-between? Marissa was surprised at the things she learned from the man who turned the world of basketball upside-down, including lessons about herself and what’s really important in life.
About the Author
Marissa Mitchell, daughter of a lawyer and a doctor, grew up in Chino Hills, California. She graduated as Valedictorian from Don Antonio Lugo High School, and thereafter attended University of California, Los Angeles. There, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors (cum laude) in English Literature. After a short stint in a post-baccalaureate program for medical school at the University of Southern California, she pursued and obtained a Master’s in Education from the same (USC).
Throughout college and into her teaching career, Marissa wrote recreationally and
professionally. She created her own blog, wrote poems, and contributed curriculum to various nonprofit organizations, including e-Girl NPO and the special education “Champions Curriculum.”
Marissa began her career in writing officially upon drafting the biography of LaVar Ball, as well as articles about the Ball family in local newspapers and magazines. She also freelanced for ABC Publications, based in Chino, California, and Become a Champion magazine, based in Denver, Colorado. In February 2017, she opened her own freelancing business called Esther Enterprises, coined after her Jewish name. For email inquiries, send a message directly to Marissa via her business
Or, visit the website for the book at