Photos: LaMelo Ball through the years

Hornets guard LaMelo Ball wraps a pass around Kings center Richaun Holmes.
Hornets guard LaMelo Ball wraps a pass around Kings center Richaun Holmes during a game Feb. 28 in Sacramento.
(Randall Benton / Associated Press)
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LaMelo Ball, the youngest of the basketball-playing brothers from Chino Hills, is in his first season with the Charlotte Hornets and a leading candidate for NBA rookie of the year.

From the moment he broke onto the national stage as a 14-year-old starter at Chino Hills High, he was in the spotlight.

The Ball brothers (from left): Lonzo, LaMelo and Li Angelo.
LaMelo Ball (center), flanked by older brothers Lonzo (left) and LiAngelo, had yet to hit his growth spurt before entering high school just after his 14th birthday.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

From the widespread social media following, to the hype surrounding his family’s Big Baller Brand and their “Ball in the Family” show on Facebook Watch, to his globe-trotting teenage years, there was much fanfare.

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Chino Hills guard LaMelo Ball pulls up for a shot over Mater Dei’s Michael Wang and Matthew Weyand (21).
Chino Hills guard LaMelo Ball pulls up for a shot over Mater Dei’s Michael Wang and Matthew Weyand (21) during a playoff game March 24, 2017.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

As he developed into a 6-foot-6 point guard with superior court vision, a deft passing touch and the ability to collect rebounds to ignite fastbreaks that ended with flashy finishes and no-look passes, NBA scouts took notice.

LaMelo Ball of Chino Hills bites on his jersey during a break in play.
LaMelo Ball strikes a familiar pose while there’s a break in play.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

He announced his presence on the amateur basketball scene the previous June when, as a 13-year-old coming out of middle school, he scored 27 points in Chino Hills’ 98-51 defeat of Pasadena Muir during a summer league game.

An in-depth look at the fascinating relationship between LaVar Balll and his family with the city of Chino Hills.

Chino Hills guard LaMelo Ball bring the ball up court against Rancho Cucamonga.
Chino Hills guard LaMelo Ball bring the ball up court against Rancho Cucamonga during a game on Feb. 9, 2017.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
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The trio of Ball brothers started along with former USC star Onyeka Okongwu, a rookie now with the Atlanta Hawks, and Eli Scott to lead the Chino Hills Huskies to a35-0 state championship season in 2015-16. In his sophomore season, Ball scored 92 points in a game.

LiAngelo Ball (3) and LaMelo Ball take part in their first training session for Vytautas Prienai on Jan. 5 in Lithuania.
LiAngelo Ball (3) and LaMelo Ball take part in their first training session for Vytautas Prienai on Jan. 5 in Lithuania.
(Petras Malukas / AFP / Getty Images)

Ball began to build his body of work after two seasons at Chino Hills by heading to Lithuania with middle brother LiAngelo, who had left UCLA following a shoplifting scandal for which he was suspended, to play professionally for Vytautus Prienai. He averaged 6.5 points, 2.4 assists and 1.1 rebounds in eight games of the 2017-18 season. His play was hampered by an undisclosed back injury and eventually Ball’s father pulled his sons from the team.

LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks drives for a layup around Andrew Bogut of the Sydney Kings.
LaMelo Ball, while playing for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia, drives for a layup around Sydney Kings center Andrew Bogut on Nov. 17, 2019.
(Rick Rycroft / Associated Press)

After returning to the states, Ball headed to SPIRE Academy in Geneva, Ohio, for a 33-game season in 2018-19. He averaged 26.7 points for the private prep school.

Illawarra's LaMelo Ball drives past Sydney's Jae'Sean Tate.
Illawarra’s LaMelo Ball drives past Sydney’s Jae’Sean Tate during a game in the Australian league on Nov. 17, 2019.
(Rick Rycroft / Associated Press)

Ball spent the fall of 2019 in the Australian pro league, where his profile as a top NBA prospect grew. In 12 games with the Illawarra Hawks, Ball averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals before an injury to his left foot sidelined him for the rest of season.

Hornets guard LaMelo Ball flips a pass while surrounded by Warriors defenders.
Hornets guard LaMelo Ball flips a pass while surrounded by Warriors defenders during a game Feb. 26, 2021, in San Francisco.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Ball was selected third overall in the 2020 draft by Charlotte. LaMelo and elder brother Lonzo became the first set of brothers to be chosen in the top three of their respective drafts. LaMelo is averaging 15.8 points, 6.3 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals through 38 games heading into a matchup with the Lakers on Thursday night.

Lonzo, left, and LaMelo Ball pose for a photo before their first NBA game playing each other on Jan. 7, 2020.
(Derick Hingle / Associated Press)