NBL buzz as Hawks get Ball rolling
SYDNEY NBL coach Will Weaver predicts a host of future NBA prospects to arrive on Australian shores after the success of LaMelo Ball.
A record 17,513 crowd converged on Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena to watch Ball and Illawarra go down fighting on Sunday against the Kings.
Most fans arrived to catch a glimpse of Ball, an 18-year-old point guard projected as a possible No. 1 draft pick in next year’s NBA draft.
And the brother of New Orleans Pelicans star Lonzo Ball delivered for the Sydneysiders, scoring 16 points with eight rebounds and six assists. Weaver praised Ball for bouncing back after a rough first half.
“What’s not to like?” Weaver said. “Composed, unselfish. I’m excited to see where he heads.”
Ball is one of three American imports bypassing college to join the league’s Next Stars program. The others are RJ Hampton and Terry Armstrong.
Ball and Hampton are tipped to be picked in the top five. Asked whether he expected more high school talents to follow in Ball’s footsteps, Weaver said: “Hell yeah.”