Illawarra keen to see what Ball will bring

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT -

LAMELO Ball is still learn­ing to play “or­gan­ised bas­ket­ball” but oth­er­wise the Illawarra Hawks are poised to jump on his back as see where the ris­ing teenage star takes them this NBL season.

Ball is emerg­ing as the league’s biggest at­trac­tion, even though he’s play­ing for the bot­tom-placed Hawks.

The 18-year-old from Cal­i­for­nia be­came the first player to snag back-to-back NBL triple-dou­bles for 14 years when his team went down 91-79 to the New Zealand Break­ers on Satur­day.

His 25-point haul was short of the 32-point dis­play against Cairns five days early but was no less spec­tac­u­lar.

And he did it in front of a hoard of scouts who re­port­edly re­gard Ball as their top choice for next year’s NBA draft.

Illawarra coach Matt Flinn said coach­ing Ball had been an in­vig­o­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence through 12 games and he’s ex­pect­ing the high­light reels to keep be­ing filled. How­ever, he also an­tic­i­pates the fleet-footed guard will con­tinue to evolve as a team player, with some short­com­ings ex­posed at times in Auck­land.

“There were times when the ball sort of stuck a lit­tle bit and we didn’t get it through hands,” Flinn said. “That’s a learn­ing curve for him, play­ing so many min­utes and having the ball in his hands so much.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.