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The ‘win-win’ situation which saw LaMelo Ball land in the NBL

Levy & Riddell

Prospective first round 2020 NBA Draft pick LaMelo Ball has officially signed with the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks.

The 17-year-old officially announced the move on ESPN’s The Jump early on Tuesday morning.

The younger brother of Lonzo and son of LaVar, the 198 cm point guard won a state championship playing for Chino Hills High School and is considered a top 25 picks in next year’s draft.

NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger‏ said it was immensely satisfying that Ball opted to pick Australia over other countries.

“It’s one of those real win-win situations for all involved,” he said.

“It’s going to give (Ball) a fantastic opportunity to play against some hardened professionals which will do wonders for getting him ready for his rookie year in the NBA in 2020.

Loeliger said the process of signing the teenager has been months in the making.

“The conversations with LaMelo and his agent started two-and-a-half months ago when I happened to be in California,” he said.

“I had the opportunity to see LaMelo work out with some other talented athletes and he looked the real deal.

‘He’s got the work ethic in takes to make that transition to becoming a pro and it sort of gradually progressed from there.

“He had a lot of opportunities put in front of him – he had to make a decision which country and league he was going to play in ahead of the draft.”

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Levy & Riddell