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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

LaMelo Ball, manager purchase Australian NBL team LaMelo played for

LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball is expected to be one of the top picks in the NBA Draft this summer, but he will remain heavily tied to Australia’s National Basketball League even after his NBA career begins. We know this because Ball and his manager have purchased an NBL team.

Ball’s manager Jermaine Jackson told ESPN on Thursday that he and LaMelo bought the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks. There had been rumors that the two might purchase the team, and Jackson said it is now a “done deal.”

“Melo loves the Illawarra fans,” Jackson said. “He loves that community. They opened their arms to him. They made us feel like we are at home. When we started hearing about the issues they were going through, we talked about it and decided, ‘Let’s own the team.'”

Jackson said Ball will be completely focused on his NBA career when it begins, but he wants to make sure the right people are in place in Illawarra to “create the best basketball program possible for that community there.”

Ball joined the NBL in August as part of the league’s Next Stars program, and he has helped solidify his NBA Draft stock with his play in the NBL. He averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games with the Hawks before his season was cut short by a foot injury.

Jackson believes Ball owning the Hawks will give the team more credibility, and the goal is to “put the organization on steroids” and make it a program top high school players want to join.

Like his father LaVar, LaMelo Ball seems to always be searching for his next business opportunity despite being just 18 years old. He was also shopping a documentary at one point about his journey to the NBA. He’s clearly committed to making money both on and off the court.

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