LaMelo Ball’s journey via Australia to prepare himself for a superstar career in the NBA paid off today when he was picked third in the NBA Draft.
Anthony Edwards was snapped up by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the number one pick and James Wiseman went to Golden State as the second before the Charlotte Hornets laid claim to Ball.
The move will see him play for the franchise owned by the man many regard as the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan.
Ball’s path to potential superstardom was bold from the outset.
Could a prodigious basketball talent and member of a celebrity US family move from a glamorous lifestyle of luxury to the steel city of Wollongong in New South Wales and become the most promising new NBA talent of his class?
Now the 19-year-old from California will begin his career in North Carolina after an extremely impressive NBL career playing for The Hawks in Wollongong.
His playing salary will skyrocket beyond the $100,000 he earned in Australia and he has already signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with sporting label Puma.
While in the NBL, Ball averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7 assists and won the league’s Rookie of the Year award, despite only playing half the season.
Josh Green drafted in first round to Dallas
While much of the focus in Australia had been on Ball, 20-year-old Sydney guard Josh Green was selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 18th pick of the draft.
Green has been playing college basketball for the Arizona Wildcats after his family moved to the US in 2015.
Prior to the move, he accepted and then forfeited a spot in a junior academy to play Australian Rules Football with the Greater Western Sydney Giants.