LaMelo Ball & His Manager Bought an Australian NBL Team

Mahlik Campbell sports /
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 30: LaMelo Ball of the Hawks in action during the round 9 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks at Spark Arena on November 30, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

LaMelo Ball is flexin' on a whole new level after purchasing his Australian NBL team, the Illawarra Hawks. 📈

With the help of his manager, Jermaine Jackson, the 18-year-old point guard has become one of the youngest professional sports team owners in the world.

"We own the team," Jackson told ESPN. "It's a done deal."

LaMelo's older brother Lonzo Ball, who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans, had one word to describe the news: "Different."

LaMelo has emerged as a potential No. 1 NBA draft pick after moving to Australia in August to participate in the NBL's Next Stars program. He averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games with the Hawks before a foot injury ended his season.

According to Jackson, LaMelo really enjoys Australia and the two made the decision to buy the team after financial struggles threatened the organization's future. It's unclear how much the team is worth.

"Melo loves the Illawarra fans," he 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.'"

Besides making the team as competitive as possible, LaMelo hopes to use his status as an owner to connect with young Australian fans and give back to the basketball community there, per Jackson. Ball previously donated a month of his NBL salary to the victims of the Australian bushfire.


LaMelo first garnered national attention while in high school, casually hitting ridiculous half court shots and dropping 92 points in a single game. Though his game has matured, LaMelo remains a walking highlight reel.

Back in November, he also became the youngest player ever to record a triple double in the NBL, putting up 32 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

He sits at an NBA-ready height of 6-foot-7 and will be eligible for the upcoming 2020 NBA draft. CBS Sports is pinning him as the No. 1 prospect.

Take a peek at some of the best reactions to LaMelo's big investment. 💼