LaMelo Ball’s second professional stint overseas is off to a much better start than his initial experiment in Lithuania. After struggling to mesh with his teammates as a member of BC Prienai, the youngest Ball brother decided to join the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League in his final year before declaring for the NBA Draft.
Over the weekend, Ball played in his very first NBL regular-season game and he made a strong impression with a historic performance.
During LaMelo’s highlight-filled performance, Ball became the first player in NBL history to have a double-double with five assists and no turnovers on debut. Not too shabby for the 18-year-old from Chino Hills.
While the Hawks suffered a loss, Ball had a strong stat line with 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and no turnovers.
Here are some of the highlights.
In one of his flashiest moves of the night, LaMelo was able to drop his defender two times on the same play.
Following Sunday’s opener, Illawarra head coach Matt Flinn discussed Ball and his teammate Aaron Brooks. While there is plenty of room for improvement, Flinn is excited for what the future could hold for his team.
“They’re enormous talents, both those guys. It is a matter of us playing with two different tempos at times. We’re still getting an understanding of each other and we’re understanding time, score and when we need to get a good bucket and when we need to run,” Flinn said, via Lonzo Wire.
“That’s something that we work on daily and we’ll continue to do. Those two guys are natural scorers and we certainly got a lot of belief in them. I feel like tonight was just one of those nights. We shot 16 percent from three, 63 (percent) from the foul line. It bodes well for where we’re going. We’re pretty happy where we’re at. We’ve got a great bunch of guys and we’re really together. We just need to fix up a couple things execution-wise and we’ll be good.”
Up next for LaMelo and the Hawks is a meeting with the Perth Wildcats on Friday, October 11.