The Charlotte Hornets may have found a future superstar in LaMelo Ball.
The point guard won the 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year award, beating out Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards and Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton for the honor, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday. Ball averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Hornets over 51 contests, coming back from a wrist injury late in the season to help Charlotte secure a play-in tournament spot.
Ball was the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, going after Edwards and James Wiseman. He was the favorite to win the award at -2000, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. His unconventional path to the NBA included stops in Lithuania and Australia and a stint in the JBA, a league created by his father LaVar Ball as an alternative to college hoops. Ball averaged 17.0 points, 6.8 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game in 12 games in Australia’s NBL prior to entering the 2020 draft.