NBA’s #1 Draft LaMelo Ball Did Not Waste Time Waiting For Results & Bought The Team
Basketball player LaMelo Ball could have been and was projected to be 2020’s No. 1 NBA draft pick. The 18-year-old and his manager Jermaine Jackson also just bought his the Illawara Hawks, the Australian NBL team LaMelo plays for.
“We own the team,” Jackson told ESPN. “It’s a done deal.” Financial details apparently haven’t been revealed, and the team hasn’t commented on the news. Read on to find out why LaMelo made this decision.
LaMelo Ball Buys Australian Basketball Team
ESPN reports that LaMelo started playing for the Hawks last August as part of the NBL’s Next Stars program. He played 12 games with them before sustaining a foot injury. With the team apparently facing financial issues, LaMelo stepped in.
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“Melo loves the Illawarra fans,” Jermaine Jackson told ESPN. “He loves that community. They opened their arms to him. They made us feel like we are at home. When we started hearing about the issues they were going through, we talked about it and decided, ‘Let’s own the team.'”
Jackson added, “He wants to create the best basketball program possible for that community there.” LaMelo plans to visit Australia with his family in the summer, and Jackson has apparently been in contact with several former NBA general managers and coaches to help with the program.
Who Is NBL Player LaMelo Ball?
LaMelo plays as a point guard for the Illawara Hawks. During high school, he signed with Lithuanian professional team Prienai. His father, LaVar Ball, is a former football player who created the Junior Basketball Association, for which LaMelo played.
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LaMelo won NBL Rookie of the Year at the end of 2019. His family has a reality show on Facebook Watch called Ball in the Family. His brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo are also basketball players.
This isn’t the first time LaMelo has show his love for Australia. In January, he pledged to donate one month of his NBL salary to help victims of the Australian bushfires. “My parents taught me to help out wherever I can, so this is my way of helping out,” he said at the time.