LaMelo Ball’s journey is once again taking him overseas. Because of stints with professional teams BC Prienai in Lithuania and the Los Angeles Ballers of his father’s JBL, the five-star prospect is not going to play collegiately. He did return to high school for his senior season at Spire Institute in Ohio, but now he is returning to the pro game.
On Monday, June 17, the youngest of the Ball brothers appeared on ESPN’s The Jump to announce the next chapter of his career.
For the 2019-20 season, LaMelo will be heading to Australia to play for the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks.
Marc Stein of the New York Post had details on the type of deal that LaMelo will be receiving with a “Next Stars” contract.
“League sources say Australia’s @NBL remains in pursuit of LaMelo Ball — 17-year-old brother of the just-traded Lonzo Ball — to sign a “Next Stars” contract. That’s the NBL program aimed at giving NBA prospects an alternative to college in the year before becoming draft eligible,” Stein wrote on Twitter.
While LaMelo is taking an unusual path to the NBA, he is hopeful that his time in Australia will be productive and continue to help him prepare for the next level.
“My goal is to be the top pick in next year’s Draft and I feel they can help me reach that goal,” Ball said during the interview.
You can check it out below.
After his year in Australia, LaMelo will enter the NBA Draft where he hopes to be a high selection and join his oldest brother, former No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball, in the league. Lonzo was recently traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans in a deal that sent All-Star big man Anthony Davis to Los Angeles where he will team up with LeBron James.