LaMelo Ball’s time overseas has come to an end. The projected top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has decided to shut it down while he continues to recover from a foot injury. Ball was playing for the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League in Australia before suffering the injury.
Ball rehabilitated his draft stock during his time in the NBL and was rising up the draft boards, and now he will be putting his focus towards impressing NBA scouts ahead of the upcoming draft.
During his time with Illawarra, Ball averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.7 steals in 31 minutes per game this season.
It does not appear, however, that there are any mass concerns over the status of Ball’s foot.
“Melo’s foot is totally healed, but the doctor’s policy is if you’re out for six weeks, you must rehab for six weeks,” LaMelo’s manager, Jermaine Jackson, texted ESPN. “He’s starting court work tomorrow.”
Despite the progress, he will not return to the court in Australia.
LaMelo Ball’s time playing in the NBL is over. “Yeah he’s done,” his manager, Jermaine Jackson, told me this evening.
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) January 16, 2020
LaMelo has been so impressive that one NBL executive believes there is no way the youngest Ball brother will be passed up with the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
“I don’t see any way where LaMelo doesn’t go No. 1. He sees the floor better than anyone, and his passing and shooting is like nothing I’ve seen before,” the NBL executive told Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek.
His performance has been so impressive that Ball now finds himself as the top-rated prospect on the DraftExpress 2020 NBA Draft Board. Ball was initially slated as an early second-round pick but has since seen a steady rise up the rankings.