Potential No. 1 NBA draft pick LaMelo Ball and his manager, Jermaine Jackson, have bought his Australian NBL team, the Illawarra Hawks, Jermaine Jackson told on Thursday.
“We own the team,” Jermaine Jackson said. “It’s a done deal.”
Then no financial details were uncovered, and the team has not remarked on the sale.
LaMelo Ball showed up in Australia in August as part of the league’s Next Stars program and set up himself as a strong candidate to be the top pick in the draft. The 6-foot-7 point guard averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists 12 games with the Illawarra Hawks, presenting back-on back triple-doubles before a foot injury finished his season.
Additionally, He is automatically qualified for the 2020 draft, per NBA rules, and is the No. 2-ranked draft prospect by ESPN.
LaMelo Ball making the most of his time in Australia so much that he decided to make the nation a part of his long term future, particularly when financial issues undermined the team.
“Melo loves the Illawarra fans,” Jermaine Jackson told. “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.’
“He is going to be locked into his NBA career, but we are going to hire the right people to oversee everything. He wants to create the best basketball program possible for that community there.”
Jermaine Jackson, who spent five seasons in the NBA alongside stops in Italy, Spain, Greece and somewhere else, said he expects there to be critical enthusiasm from the next generation of American stars in following in LaMelo Ball’s footsteps.
“When high school kids hear LaMelo owns the team, they will want to come,” Jermaine Jackson said. “They’ll know they will be taken care of. We’re going to put the organization on steroids, building it into a program that guys want to play for. I’m in touch with several former NBA GMs that want to go there to help out and high-level coaches that won every championship you can imagine.”
LaMelo Ball, who is in Chino Hills, California, getting ready for the draft with his siblings Lonzo and LiAngelo, wants to utilize the buy as a road to interface with his numerous youthful fans who upheld him in his time in Australia and to offer back to the b-ball community, Jermaine Jackson said. Ball recently donated a month of his NBL pay to the victims of the Australian bushfire.
“When Melo wants to do stuff in the summertime, we’ll be there,” Jermaine Jackson said. “We’ll take a tour with his family all over Australia, doing basketball camps and connecting with the youth. He wants to inspire the next generation.”
Additionally, manager Jermaine Jackson stated “That’s how he was raised by his family. People have a perception of his father, but he has a heart of gold and it trickles down to his kids. His father didn’t take him on a traditional route. He started his own sneaker company, Big Baller Brand. We’ve always talked about ownership. Melo wants kids to think big, especially in times like this.”
LaMelo Ball’s career will take him to the NBA moderately soon, yet he will even now have an eye on Illawarra as one of the team’s proprietors.