Illawarra Hawks sign LeMelo Ball
Wednesday 19 June 2019 3:22pm
As announced on ESPN this morning, the five-star ranked guard will join the Hawks as part of the NBL Next Stars program.
The younger brother of NBA star Lonzo Ball, 17-year-old LaMelo is considered one of the most intriguing NBA prospects and is projected to be selected as a first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
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 gave some insight into the direction of the club regarding this latest signing stating: “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.”
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.