LaMelo Ball is making Big Baller Moves!
The Ball Family is back in the news today and this time they are actually making big baller decisions. The youngest Ball brother, LaMelo ball and his manager, Jermaine Jackson have purchased his former Australian NBL team, the Illawarra Hawks. The potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft played a season in the professional Australian basketball league so he can become eligible to declare for the NBA draft.
Ball’s manager, Jermaine Jackson told ESPN, “We own the team,” Jackson said. “It’s a done deal.” According to ESPN, the Illawarra Hawks have not commented on the sale.
LaMelo’s Time In Australia
LaMelo Ball decided to play overseas and earn money while he plays instead of being exploited by the NCAA and playing in college. The 6’7 point guard joined the NBL through their Next Stars program and averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games with the Hawks.
“Melo loves the Illawarra fans,” Jackson told ESPN. “He loves that community. They opened their arms to him. They made us feel like we are at home. So much at home that LaMelo wanted to make Australia a part of his future. The Illawarra Hawks were struggling financially, so LaMelo wanted to own the team and strengthen them with more American talent.
Jackson goes on to say, “…we are going to hire the right people to oversee everything. He wants to create the best basketball program possible for that community there.”
LaMelo wants to make the same path accessible to other top high school prospects. The NCAA has been exploiting college athletes for years now. The NCAA profits billions off the talent of these athletes, but the athletes never see any of the profit for themselves. He wants to make Illawarra and the NBL a great alternative for talented high school players to be properly compensated for their outstanding talents.
“When high school kids hear LaMelo owns the team, they will want to come,” Jackson said. “They’ll know they will be taken care of. We’re going to put the organization on steroids, building it into a program that guys want to play for.”
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