It has taken LaMelo Ball just two preseason NBL games to create worldwide headlines.
The teenage sensation, who has joined the Illawarra Hawks under the NBL Next Stars program, scored 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the Hawks’ 109-98 win over South East Melbourne Phoenix in Albury yesterday.
Ball’s performance circulated social media quickly, with numerous high profile American media outlets posting his highlights shortly after the game ended.
— Overtime (@overtime) September 15, 2019
.@MELOD1P dropped 21 points in the preseason W ?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 15, 2019
LaMelo picked up a W tonight. This pro hooper thing is coming easy. ?
– 25 minutes
– 21 points
– 7/11 shooting
– 3 rebounds
– 3 steals
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) September 15, 2019
Import signing Josh Boone looked strong for Illawarra with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while other significant contributors included AJ Ogilvy (16 points, eight rebounds), Todd Blanchfield (14 points) and Emmett Naar (10 points).
Ben Madgen and John Roberson led the Phoenix, both scoring 18 points, while Tai Wesley (17 points), Kendall Stephens (16 points) and Kyle Adnam (10 points) all scored in double digits. Dane Pineau also opened some eyes off the bench with 15 rebounds.
Click here for the full stats from the Phoenix Hawks game.
The Cairns Taipans continued their winning ways in the preseason, taking down the Brisbane Bullets 76-66.
DJ Newbill stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, Tad Dufelmeier scored 16 points, Cameron Oliver had 13 and George Blagojevic finished with 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Only two players reached double digit scoring for Brisbane, Lamar Patterson (21 points, six rebounds) and Will Magnay (10 points, seven rebounds).
Click here for the full stats from the Taipans Bullets game.