The 2020 NBA Draft will feature a unique twist: one of its lottery picks will also own a pro basketball team.

LaMelo Ball and his manager, Jermaine Jackson, have purchased the Illawarra Hawks, a National Basketball League franchise in Australia, according to ESPN. 

Ball, 18, starred for the Hawks last season, averaging 17 points, seven assists and eight rebounds per game on his way to being named the NBL’s rookie of the year. Ball’s connection with Australia goes beyond buying the franchise, which was struggling financially and had attracted the interest of the owner of the rival Sydney Kings. Three months ago, he donated one month of his NBL salary to victims of Australia’s bushfires. Ball has also signaled a desire to routinely return to the Land Down Under during the NBA offseason.

The youngest brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, LaMelo has enjoyed a unique and well-traveled career. After playing two seasons at Chino Hills High School in California, Ball hired an agent and signed with Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. He then returned to the U.S. to sign with the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association (which was run by Ball’s father, LaVar Ball). Then, Ball re-joined high school basketball by playing for SPIRE Institute, a private high school in Geneva, Ohio. After spending his senior season there, he relocated to Australia with Jackson, his coach at SPIRE, in tow. 





Source link

Leave a Comment