LaMelo LaFrance Ball is an American professional basketball player for the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA. He is a point guard who was selected by the Hornets with the third overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft.LaMelo gained national recognition when his brother was playing for chino hills and he used to be teammates with him as a junior in high school. He is the younger brother of Lonzo and LiAngelo Ball from the famous ball family. He has had one of the most interesting paths to the NBA which led him to play in Lithuania, then in his father’s basketball league, and then in Australia’s NBL before declaring for the NBA draft.
LaMelo started his freshman season in high school in Chino hills alongside his brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo Ball and his cousin Andre Ball. Notably scored 26 points in a win over Sierra Canyon School for the CIF Southern Section Open Division title. The team went 35-0 and won the mythical national championship.
LaMelo averaged 16.4 points and 3.8 assists per game and shared MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year honors with his teammate, Onyeka Okongwu. He made headlines scoring 92 points in a game in his sophomore year. He finished his sophomore season with averages of 26.7 points and almost 10 assists per game, earning MaxPreps Sophomore All-American first-team recognition. He skipped his senior year to be homeschooled after a disagreement between his father and the new high school coach. He then signed with an agent to play professionally overseas with his brother LiAngelo foregoing his college eligibility.
After a brief stint overseas LaMelo returned to the US to complete his senior year at Spire Academy prep school. He had committed to UCLA at age 13 but decided not to play in college as he had lost his amateur status by playing professionally overseas. In 2017 LaMelo signed with the Lithuanian league’s Prienai. He was sidelined due to injuries and left the team after not getting enough playing tim. He came back to the US to play in a league organized by his father JBL. he played for the Los Angeles Ballers. Over eight regular-season games, Ball averaged a triple-double with 39.6 points, 14.6 rebounds, and 11.5 assists per game; his season-high was 55 points, 16 rebounds, and seven assists in the playoff semifinals. After the league got over he returned to school to finish his senior year of high school. He played for one year in the Australian league NBL for the Illawarra Hawks was awarded the rookie of the year for his sensational season averaging 17 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game through 12 games. He then declared for the NBA draft and was selected 3rd overall by the Charlotte Hornets
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