LaMelo Ball: the question mark

Mason Corcoran

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LaMelo Ball—bust or breakout for the NBA draft? LaMelo is a 19 year old basketball sensation, as of right now the young baller is playing for Australia’s professional NBL team. Unlike most first round picks for the upcoming draft, LaMelo has taken a different route to the draft because he was not able to not play in college; therefore, he went pro overseas to prepare himself for the NBA.

At the age of 16, LaMelo decided to drop out of high school in Chino Hills, California and pursue his dream of becoming a professional basketball player. This led to him playing overseas in Lithuania during his junior and part of his senior year of high school. However, after disagreements with the coaching staff and a sub par performance, LaMelo decided to move back to the United States and play out his senior year at Spire Academy in Ohio. Following his return back to high school basketball, LaMelo was once again in the top 100 rankings on ESPN for his class. 

Following the season with Spire, LaMelo planned on going to play one year of college basketball before going to the draft. However, the young star later ran into complications with the NCAA; LaMelo was being accused of amateurism by profiting off his own shoe that the Ball family released, as well as his earnings from playing professionally overseas. Therefore, this was a bump in the road for LaMelo Ball because the NCAA tournament is one of the biggest stages to be able to prove your draft stock. 

Following the announcement from the NCAA, LaMelo debated between going to the G-League or going back overseas. Once again, though, LaMelo would choose to take his talents overseas. LaMelo Ball is projected to be one of the top recruits in this year’s NBA draft, however many people argue that he did not play as hard in competition overseas and therefore saying he will not be as much of a breakout player in the NBA as he was overseas. Overall, LaMelo Ball is predicted to be picked early in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft; however, he will have to prove himself to the basketball community from the start.