On April 2, it was reported by ESPN that potential number 1 draft pick LaMelo Ball and his manager, Jermaine Jackson, have purchased Australian NBL team, the Illawarra Hawks.
Jackson was quoted saying the following to ESPN:
“Melo loves the Illawarra fans… 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.”
Ball spent the 2019-20 season in Australia playing for Illawarra. Through 12 NBL games, he averaged 17 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists, on 37.7% shooting.