LaMelo Ball’s journey to the NBA

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Dominic LaSassa, Reporter

First.
Third.
And the number two.

For a rookie drafted third overall in the first round, the Charlotte Hornets point guard with the #2 on the back of his jersey is making quite a name for himself.

Lamelo Ball, who goes by “Melo,” stands out for more reasons than one.

Bell first gained national attention during his high school basketball career at Chino Hills High School, alongside his brothers Lonzo and Liangelo, who also play in the NBA. Lonzo was drafted by the Lakers a few years ago, also in the first round. Liangelo is currently in the G-League, trying to make his way up to the NBA.

As a freshman, he helped the Huskies go 35-0, averaging 16.4 points and 3.8 assists a game. This earned him recognition as the MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year, which he shared with teammate Onyeka Okongwu.

At 13, he verbally committed to UCLA, where his brother Lonzo and LiAngelo attended. Melo’s sophomore season is when he really started to make headlines, pointing at the halfcourt line and draining a 3. It was the shot that had everyone standing up out of their seats.

He made headlines again in February 2017 after dropping 92 points at a game, with 41 of them in the fourth quarter. That season he earned MaxPreps Sophomore All American First Team Recognition. At the time, Melo got his own shoe with the family-run business “BBB”(Big Baller Brand).

At this point, things got a little complicated for Ball. Ball, who had committed to UCLA, was no longer eligible for NCAA play. So he de-committed.

Melo then went to play across the country his junior year. He would play in a pro league in Lithuania. After that season he was unhappy with the team and left. Once he left he played in a league he dad made, and then went on to play his senior season.

For his senior season Lamelo went back to high school and played at one of the best schools, Spire Academy located in Ohio. That season he was named the team MVP, but couldn’t play in the All American Game due to him playing in pro leagues.

As the 2020 draft approached, Ball was considered a top overall pick. Many thought he could be a #1 overall pick, but had their doubts. The Charlotte Hornets ended up taking him 3rd overall. His preseason had ups and downs and wasn’t that promising.

The first game of the season Melo came off the bench going scoreless in 16 minutes. As games went by, Ball started to get comfortable. When the Hornets played the Pelicans, Ball narrowly missed a triple double against his brother’s team. Lamelo wasted no time and on the next night, he became the youngest player to get a triple double breaking Markelle Fultz’s record.

On February 1st ball made his first start and recorded 27 points which then was his career high. Since then he has broken it with scoring 34. Right now Melo is a lead candidate for Rookie of the Year, leading almost every category. If Ball keeps it up, he can be someone to look out for in the future.