LaMelo Ball creating NBA draft buzz with fast start in Australia

LaMelo Ball prepares for a training session with the Illawarra Hawks on Aug. 21, 2019, in Wollongong, Australia.
(Mark Evans / Getty Images)

LaMelo Ball, kid brother of former Lakers and current Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, is slowly but surely climbing his way to becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

The youngest Ball, who once scored 92 points in a high school game while at Chino Hills, has always showed the most potential as a scorer among the three Ball brothers, who led the Huskies to a state title in 2016.

Ball, who turned 18 in August, is playing this season in Australia’s National Basketball League with the Illawarra Hawks. Various scouting and ranking services have listed him as a first-round draft pick in the past, but his recent exploits have led to rank him 10th and to list him at No. 4. Meanwhile, ESPN’s has him at No. 3.

He made seven of 11 shots from the field to score 21 points in a 109-98 victory in a preseason game against the South East Melbourne Phoenix. In his preseason debut, Ball had 12 points on five-of-11 shooting from the field along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Ball has drawn comparisons to Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic, who was the NBA’s rookie of the year last season.


The lanky point guard, who is listed from 6-foot-6 to 6-8 by various outlets, will open regular-season play on Oct. 5 when the Hawks take on the Brisbane Bullets.