Ministry of Sport

NBA Prospect Chooses Australia’s NBL Pathway

LaMelo Ball, who is expected to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, will join the National Basketball League’s (NBL) Illawarra Hawks for the 2019/20 season.

Brother to NBA star Lonzo Ball, 17-year-old LaMelo will join the Hawks as part of the NBL Next Stars program.

Ball joins a list of prospects opting to play in the NBL on their path to the NBA including Terrance Furguson, Brian Bowen II and most recently R.J. Hampton.

Illawarra Hawks General Manager, Mat Campbell, said: “We’re very excited to have LaMelo join the team. It has been a goal of the club to provide pathway opportunities for our young talent to play in the NBA.

“With the likes of LaMelo and recently signed Sam Froling, we believe we’re well on our way to achieving that goal.”

Hawks Owner, Simon Stratford, is thrilled with having LaMelo in a Hawks Jersey.

“LaMelo is an exceptional talent and having him in a Hawks jersey fits with the goal of cultivating the best young talent and making them great.

“It’s putting the club at the top of the list for future NBA stars,” he said.

LaMelo Ball said: ” I am excited to be a part of the NBL’s Next Stars program and to join the Illawarra Hawks team.

“The NBL is a really solid league, with great coaches and players, and I am looking forward to putting all my focus and energy into basketball and getting to work.

“I believe this will be an amazing opportunity for me as I continue in my journey toward fulfilling my dream of playing in the NBA.”

This latest signing is a significant one for the Illawarra Hawks as the team are in a strong position for the upcoming season.

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney