By Jabari Richardson, Staff Writer
LaMelo Ball has been in the public eye since his father, Lavar Ball, introduced him and his brothers into the spotlight in high school. The highly followed player has grown to be one of the most impressive rookies in the NBA right now and holds the record for rookies in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
The 6-foot-6 guard was coached and trained by his father as early as he took his first steps. As a child, LaMelo trained alongside his brothers, Lonzo and LiAngelo; and all three brothers eventually garnered the attention of the basketball world at very young ages. While playing at Chino Hills High School, they also played for the Junior Basketball Association (JBA).
With profound abilities, the youngest Ball brother verbally committed to UCLA at age 13 because of his basketball prowess.
Despite his talent on the court, Ball experienced pressure from the media and all sports teams regarding whether he could live up to the predicted expectations. In combination with his father’s media antics and the precedent set by his brothers, Ball had to do an exceptional job on the court because the entire sports world had been anticipating his reign since his childhood.
The Hornets drafted Ball in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft as the No. 3 overall pick. Following being drafted into the NBA, Ball has shown time and time again why his performance will always exceed expectations. Ball leads all rookies in the season in rebounds, assists and steals.
He has shown a phenomenal amount of work in his first season that has not gone unnoticed.
Ball put up 34 points in the Hornets game against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 5. His match against Utah was his highest-scoring game to date, as his average ppg is growing exponentially from being at 14.6 ppg.
His talent on the court is undeniable, and the Hornets team has had a better start to the season because of Ball. Their record currently stands at 13-15, and they still stand in the top seven seeds across the league.
As Ball completes his first season, his experience on the court will only propel him more as a player. As he continues to dominate and bring the Hornets more wins, he will only increase the likelihood of winning Rookie of the Year.
Despite criticism, adversity, a pandemic and first-year pressures in the league, LaMelo Ball has a phenomenal career ahead of him and a performance that speaks for itself.