There isn’t an NBA prospect who took a more unconventional path than LaMelo Ball. The youngest son of LaVar Ball was pulled out of high school following his sophomore season to play pro ball with a bottom-feeding club in Lithuania. That led to a stint with the defunct JBA before a return to American high school basketball.
And after all that, LaMelo is an 18-year-old point guard for the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks and a legitimate top-5 NBA prospect.
Hey, it wasn’t exactly LaVar’s initial plan of having all of his sons star at UCLA and join the Lakers, but LaMelo will absolutely be in the NBA next season. The early returns from his regular season performances only solidifies that fact.
Through five games, LaMelo is averaging 12.4 points per game. He has struggled with his shot (shooting sub 40 percent from the floor and worse from 3), but his playmaking abilities have stood out from the start.
On Monday morning, Ball put together one of his stronger performances in a loss against the Adelaide 36ers, dropping 15 points with 7 assists and five rebounds. Just look at this no-look, behind-the-back play he made early in the game.
It was only better with the Australian announcers who should call every NBA game from this point forward. They’re the best.
Ball’s next game will be on Wednesday against fellow NBA prospect R.J. Hampton and the New Zealand Breakers — a matchup that promises to bring plenty of NBA personnel to New Zealand.