The National Basketball League (NBL) could hardly have picked a more perfect player to bring in with its “Next Stars” program than LaMelo Ball. Not only is there not a more popular player in the 2019 high school class but the list of high school prospects ever more popular than he is a short one.
But popularity isn’t the only thing that Ball has. He’s also a supremely talented player with a ton of potential and a unique background that makes him an especially intriguing prospect. Illawarra Hawks general manager Mat Campbell is one of those that believe in his potential and sees the sky as the limit for Ball.
“With the amount of social media he’s got, it’s huge and it’s more the charisma of the guy people will want to see him because of the level of skills he’s got and people believe he’s going to be a superstar, as do we and we’re going to facilitate that for him.”
On paper alone, Ball is a 6’6″, potentially even 6’7″, point guard that can dribble, pass and shoot. He has many of the same instincts on both ends of the court that has made his oldest brother a coveted prospect in the NBA. The NBL will be able to provide Ball with a dedicated group of coaches and staff focused on helping him improve.
It’s all a mutually beneficial process. For Ball, it’s a chance at continuing his development without having to sit out a year due to a host of NCAA sanctions that would have almost certainly left him ineligible. For the NBL, it could provide them the headlining star they need for the program