LaMelo Ball has been impressing NBA scouts in Australia and is projected by experts to be selected first overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. When asked if he should be drafted first Ball told Yahoo Sports, “Most Definitely. I believe in myself and I’ve worked hard to get here.”

Originally, LaMelo made headlines when he joined his brother Liangelo Ball on the varsity basketball team at Chino Hills in California when he was just 14 years old. He is the youngest Ball brother and possibly the best athlete in the family. His oldest brother Lonzo Ball was traded to the Pelicans this offseason after spending two years with the Lakers.

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slime mentality ?

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In 2017, LaMelo signed a contract to play professionally in Lithuania with BC Prienai after his father Lavar Ball pulled him out of high school due to a dispute with the coach.  He was joined by his other older brother Liangelo, who had a scholarship to play at UCLA, but left amid a suspension for shoplifting with his teammates while they were in China.

Moving to Lithuania for three months was an interesting choice by his boisterous father Lavar who faced backlash for making LaMelo ineglible to play in the NCAA by having him sign a professional contract at age 16.  LaMelo only averaged 6.5 ppg and shot 27% from the field. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman spoke to his teammates at the time and they used the words ‘lazy’ and ‘arrogant’ when referring to Ball.

Since then LaMelo has definitely worked on his game and is currently measured at 6’7. Now playing on the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League in Austrailia, Ball is averaging 17ppg., 7 apg and 7.5 rpg through 12 games. Last week he set the record for the youngest player to record a triple double in NBL history at just 18 years old.

Based on game film he appears to have better ball-handling and shooting skills than his brother Lonzo. His teammate and former NBA player, Aaron Brooks, said, “The stuff I see is NBA stuff. His IQ is amazing. There’s no doubt about it. He’s ready for the NBA. His ceiling is so high.”

“I don’t want to be a player that’s just drafted and is a role player in the NBA. I want to keep rising from there and be one of the best to ever play the game. I’ve been working my whole life for this,” Lamelo told Yahoo Sports.

During a conversation between Brooks and LaMelo, Brooks was praising Lonzo’s talents when LaMelo responded emphatically, “I’m better.”

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