Regardless of how LaMelo Ball eventually performs at SPIRE Academy in Ohio, no one can ever accuse his new head coach of not having his back.
On Wednesday, SPIRE Academy basketball coach Jermaine Jackson insisted to Cleveland NBC affiliate and TEGNA station WKYC that he thinks his new pupil has the talent to be a future No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Furthermore, Jackson is confident SPIRE and his coaching will get the best out of the high school-again point guard.
“LaMelo Ball got the ability to be the No. 1 pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers soon,” Jackson told TMZ Sports. “In my opinion, LaMelo Ball can be the No. 1 pick in a year or two going to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Ain’t no question about it. He’s known as [a future top pick] all over the world. He has a talent — some of it just can’t be taught. I’m not going to be the guy to say, ‘Oh, let me put some handcuffs on you. Let me put some more dribbling on you.’ Hell no. Do what you do and I’m going to sit back and watch you do what you do.”
For Ball, that is cheffing up while dominating control of the ball, and tossing up plenty of open three pointers when he can create space.
There’s little question that the youngest Ball brother’s star has dimmed since he left the high school circuit. As noted by WKYC, the 2020 NBA mock draft by respected draft site NBADraft.net does not include LaMelo Ball’s name anywhere. Perhaps that will change after Ball plays a season (or two?) with Robert Bobroczky and his other ASPIRE teammates.
For now, Ball has plenty to work on, and a cheerleader in chief in the man who will coach him. In some ways that’s not so different than what he encountered last year in Lithuania, but now at least he’ll be competing against other athletes his own age again. It’s about time.