National Basketball Association’s Rookie of the Year Award is an annual award given to the top rookie of the regular season and LaMelo Ball is one of the top candidates.
The Best Ball Brother
If you follow the NBA you have probably heard about the Ball brothers at some point. Since high school Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo have been in the headlines and on SportsCenter. As the youngest brother, LaMelo has usually been referred to as Lonzo’s brother, but LaMelo is making a name for himself since coming to the NBA and being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets third overall. LaMelo Ball’s early production is making scouts feel that he might be even better than his brother Lonzo the former second overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers who is currently the starting point guard of the New Orleans Pelicans.
More Minutes More Production
Recently, LaMelo Ball has seen an increase in minutes and has even started in a few games for Charlotte. If Ball continues to perform at a high level it will not take long before he is a full-time starter and contributor for the Hornets. In his past seven games, Ball has played in over thirty minutes. Ball recently set his career-high in points against the Utah Jazz scoring 34 points. As one of the most productive rookies in the NBA, the former thirds overall pick is currently the favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year with odds of -125 in front of Tyrese Haliburton at +390 and Immanuel Quickley at +700. If Ball continues to get better he will cruise to the finish line and take home the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
In 25 games this season LaMelo Ball has five starts. Ball has added great production for the Hornets as an all-around playmaker scoring, rebounding, and finding his teammates for open shots and layups. Ball is an immaculate passer and a highlight reel in himself. Ball is currently averaging 14.2 points per game, 6.2 assists per game, and 5.9 rebounds per game. Ball has also gone in double figures multiple times and even has one career triple-double already.
He is How Young?
LaMelo Ball is just nineteen years old, but he has plenty of experience playing against talented basketball players. For one, Ball was able to practice anytime he wanted with fellow NBA player Lonzo Ball and said that growing up as the youngest of three brothers helped him become the player he is today.
Road to the NBA
LaMelo Ball attended Chino Hills High School where he once played alongside Lonzo. LaMelo made his signature shoe before coming to college meaning he violated NCAA nights preventing him from being eligible to play in the NBA. Ball was originally committed to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and was going to follow in his brother’s footsteps. Ball’s father LaVar is also someone who makes plenty of headlines. LaVar Ball is known as a father very involved in his son’s lives and usually has a say in some of their biggest decisions. Ball finished his high school career at Spire Academy before heading overseas to prepare for the NBA.
Since Ball violated NCAA rules he could no longer play college basketball. The former five-star recruit then went overseas to play in the Australian National Basketball League. Ball played in 12 games in the NBL averaging 17.0 points per game, 6.8 assists per game, and 7.6 rebounds per game. Ball’s stats in the NBL are similar to what he is now doing in the NBA which is a much more talented league.
Lonzo Ball and LaMelo Ball will be a great competitive brotherly rivalry for at least the next 10 years in the NBA. In their first matchup in early January LaMelo defeated his older brother 118-110 and scored more points, rebounds, and assists than Lonzo.