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Lonzo Ball

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Lonzo Ball
20160330 MCDAAG Lonzo Ball handle.jpg
No. 2 – Los Angeles Lakers
Position Point guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1997-10-27) October 27, 1997 (age 20)
Anaheim, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school Chino Hills (Chino Hills, California)
College UCLA (2016–2017)
NBA draft 2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career 2017–present
Career history
2017–present Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Lonzo Anderson Ball (born October 27, 1997)[1] is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for one season with the UCLA Bruins, earning consensus first-team All-American honors before the Lakers selected him with the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft.

As a high school senior at Chino Hills High School in 2016, Ball was awarded multiple national high school player of the year honors, and led his team to an undefeated record, as well as a national championship.[2][3] As a college freshman in 2016–17, he led the nation in assists and broke the UCLA record for most assists in a season. He also won the Wayman Tisdale Award as the top freshman in the nation.

Early life

Ball was born in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in Anaheim, California,[1] to LaVar and Tina Ball, who were both former college basketball players.[4] The 6-foot-6-inch (1.98 m) LaVar played at Washington State before transferring to Cal State Los Angeles, where the 6-foot-1-inch (1.85 m) Tina was also playing.[5][6] A two-sport athlete, LaVar also played American football professionally for the London Monarchs in the World League of American Football.[1]

Ball started playing basketball at the age of two.[1] He grew up with his younger brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo. Until they reached high school, the trio played together on teams coached by their father.[5] Ball played basketball at Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California.[4] As a junior in 2014–15, he averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 5 blocks, and 5 steals.[7] In his senior year, he led the school to a 35–0 record and a state title, and the Huskies were ranked the consensus No. 1 team in the nation.[8][9] His younger brothers, junior LiAngelo and freshman LaMelo, were also on the team.[10] Ball averaged a triple-double with averages of 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 11.7 assists per game.[4] He received national honors including the Naismith Prep Player of the Year,[2][3] Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year,[11] USA Today Boys Basketball Player of the Year,[12] and Mr. Basketball USA.[13]

College career

Ball was rated as a consensus five-star recruit by major scouting services.[14] In November 2015, he signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and play for the Bruins.[15] As a freshman in 2016–17, he was one of 50 players named to the preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award, given annually to the top college player in the nation.[16] Ball's vision and passing skills led UCLA's rise up the national rankings,[17] as he and fellow freshman T. J. Leaf helped the Bruins bounce back from a 15–17 record from the year before.[18] Ball led the nation in assists and transformed the Bruins into the top scoring offense in the country.[19] In his first collegiate game against Pacific, he had 19 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. Later in the year, Ball was named the MVP of the Wooden Legacy tournament, after he led UCLA to a win over Texas A&M in the championship game.[20] He remained on the Wooden Award list in midseason, when he was also joined by Leaf, as UCLA was one of just five schools with two candidates on the list.[21]

In a 107–66 blowout win against the Washington Huskies, Ball had 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists.[22] With close to two dozen NBA executives in attendance, the game matched Ball against the Huskies' Markelle Fultz, who were among the nation's top point guards and projected to be among the top picks in the 2017 NBA draft.[22][23] Fultz scored 25 points in an even matchup between the two freshmen.[22] In the Bruins' regular season finale, Ball had a career-high 14 assists in a 77–68 win over Washington State, when he also broke Gary Payton's 30-year-old Pac-12 season record for assists by a freshman.[24][25] UCLA was seeded No. 3 in the NCAA Tournament, and won their opening game 97–80 over Kent State. Ball had 15 points and three assists to surpass Larry Drew II's school record for most assists in a season.[26] In the second round, he flirted with a triple-double with 18 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists in a 79–67 win over Cincinnati.[27] All of his assists came in the second half, when UCLA overcame a three-point halftime deficit after scoring a season-low 30 points in the first half.[28] The Bruins were eliminated in the Sweet 16, losing 86–75 to Kentucky. Ball had 10 points, eight assists, and four turnovers in the loss, while Wildcats point guard De'Aaron Fox scored 39 points for an NCAA tournament freshman record. Ball strained his hamstring in the game and was limping in the second half, but did not offer it as an excuse for being outplayed.[29][30] After the game, he announced that he would declare for the 2017 NBA draft, where he was generally projected to be a top-3 pick.[29]

For the season, Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.0 rebounds. He was the only player in the nation to average at least 14 points, six assists, and six rebounds, and was the first player in the conference since California's Jason Kidd in 1993–94 to average at least 14 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.[31][32] His 274 assists also passed Kidd (272) for the second-most in a season by a Pac-12 player, behind only Ahlon Lewis (294) of Arizona State in 1997–98.[33] Ball made 55.1 percent of his field goal attempts and 41.2 of his three-point attempts to become the first NCAA Division I player since 1992–93 to make at least 70 percent from 2-point range and 40 percent from 3-point range.[34][35] He was a unanimous first-team All-American, earning honors from the Associated Press,[36] United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA),[37] National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC),[38] and Sporting News.[39] Additionally, he was awarded the Wayman Tisdale Award by the USBWA as the top freshman in the nation.[40] Ball was the only freshman to be a finalist for the Wooden Award, Naismith College Player of the Year, and Oscar Robertson Trophy.[19][37][41] He was also voted Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was named first-team All-Pac-12 along with teammates Leaf and Bryce Alford.[32] He also received honorable mention for the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.[42]

College statistics

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2016–17 UCLA 36 36 35.1 .551 .412 .673 6.0 7.6 1.8 .8 14.6

Professional career

Los Angeles Lakers (2017–present)

On June 22, 2017, Ball was selected with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.[43] On July 3, he signed a four-year rookie scale contract with the Lakers.[44] During the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Ball was the named the league MVP after averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game. He had two triple-doubles, the first in Vegas since 2008 and the first ever in Vegas by a rookie.[45][46] He had four games with 10 or more assists, becoming the first in league history to have more than 10 assists in more than one game; his 9.3 assist average was also a league record.[47][48]

In his second game on October 20, 2017, he scored a career-high 29 points, to go along with 11 rebounds and 9 assists in a 132–130 win against the Phoenix Suns, falling one assist shy of becoming the youngest player to notch a triple double in NBA history.[49] In the following contest, he had eight points, eight rebounds, and 13 assists in a 119–112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to get at least 10 assists in a game.[50] On November 11, he recorded 19 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds in a 98–90 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, becoming the youngest player to achieve a triple-double at the age of 20 years and 15 days old, breaking LeBron James's record by five days. Leading up to the game, Bucks' coach Jason Kidd, who Ball is often compared to, had called it "a stretch" to compare the two since it was too early in Ball's career.[51] Ball, who had been struggling with his shooting all season,[52] made over 50% of his field goals in a game for the first time in his career.[53][54] On November 19, he recorded his second triple-double with 11 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists in a 127–109 win over the Denver Nuggets. It was the most rebounds by an NBA rookie guard since Steve Francis had 17 in 1999–2000.[55] He would join Ben Simmons, Magic Johnson, Connie Hawkins, Art Williams, and Oscar Robertson to record multiple triple-doubles within their first 20 games of their NBA careers.[56]

Player profile

Ball has an unorthodox jump shot whereby he moves the ball from his left hip to the left of his forehead. He rotates his right elbow in toward his chest until it reaches a 45-degree angle, when he shoots the ball towards the basket.[57][58][59] He prefers to shoot jumpers while moving towards his left.[57][59][60]

Ball began shooting in games from 40 feet (12 m) deep since he was a pre-teen.[59] In college, he shot 3-pointers from beyond the NBA line, which was 4 feet (1.2 m) longer than the 19-foot-9-inch (6.02 m) college line. His go-to shot with time expiring was a step-back 3-pointer from deep.[61]

Awards and honors

College
High school
Ball making a pass at the 2016 McDonald's All-American game

Endorsements

Ball began his pro career using sports apparel from his father LaVar's Big Baller Brand instead of signing with any of the three major apparel companies: Nike, Adidas or Under Armour. His father had insisted that he not sign with a company unless they agreed to license merchandise from Big Baller Brand.[64] In May 2017, Big Baller Brand announced the release of Ball's first shoe, the ZO2.[65] The $495 price tag on the shoe sparked wide criticism from celebrities and on social media. In response to his critics, LaVar tweeted on May 4, "If you can't afford the ZO2S, you're NOT a BIG BALLER!"[66]

Personal life

Ball's two brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo, have also verbally committed to playing college basketball for UCLA. LiAngelo will be starting as a freshman at UCLA in the fall of 2017.[67]

In August 2017, Ball and his family premiered in their Facebook reality show, Ball In The Family.

In September 2017, Ball released his first rap single, "Melo Ball 1", an ode to his youngest brother, LaMelo.[68] The following month, Ball released another rap single titled "Super Saiyan", which is a nod to the anime and manga series Dragon Ball Z. In the track, he compares himself to Goku, the main protagonist of DBZ.[69]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Lonzo Ball". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Meyer, Jerry (March 10, 2016). "Lonzo Ball wins Naismith Trophy". 247 Sports. Retrieved March 24, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "UCLA-Bound Guard Lonzo Ball Named Naismith HS POY". Slam. March 10, 2016. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Flores, Ronnie (April 25, 2016). "Mr. Basketball 2016: Lonzo Ball". CalHiSports.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Stephens, Mitch (March 26, 2016). "The Architect: Father of the Ball brothers speaks about growth of Chino Hills". MaxPreps.com. 
  6. ^ Parrish, Gary (July 30, 2015). "The Ball family -- coming to a basketball court (and TV) near you". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. 
  7. ^ Gardner, Michelle (November 25, 2015). "Talented Ball brothers bring entertaining brand of basketball to Inland Empire". Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ Jordan, Jason (March 30, 2016). "McDonald's All American Lonzo Ball is finally proven, now he's focused on fun". USA Today. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ Chau, Danny (June 1, 2016). "Be Like Steph?". The Ringer. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ Conor, Ryan (January 18, 2016). "Lonzo Ball, UCLA commit, wows at Hoophall Classic alongside brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo". The Springfield Republican. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. 
  11. ^ "TWO POINT GUARDS EARN 2016 MORGAN WOOTTEN PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD" (PDF) (Press release). McDonald’s USA. March 9, 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 26, 2016. 
  12. ^ Halley, Jim (March 29, 2016). "ALL-USA Boys Basketball Player of the Year: Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills (Calif.)". USA Today. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ Flores, Ronnie (May 20, 2016). "Lonzo Ball Named Mr. Basketball USA". Ballislife. Archived from the original on June 9, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Lonzo Ball". Verbal Commits. Archived from the original on May 24, 2016. 
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  16. ^ Bolch, Ben (November 15, 2016). "UCLA basketball report: Steve Alford looking for leadership". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 15, 2017. 
  17. ^ Giles, Matt (December 9, 2016). "UCLA's Lonzo Ball Is A Unique, Must-Watch Star". FiveThirtyEight. Archived from the original on January 7, 2017. 
  18. ^ Plaschke, Bill (March 17, 2017). "Dynamic freshman duo again carry the Bruins to victory". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. 
  19. ^ a b Nguyen, Thuc Nhi (March 19, 2017). "Lonzo Ball named finalist for Naismith Trophy". Los Angeles Daily News. 
  20. ^ "UCLA finishes strong to beat Texas A&M for the Wooden Legacy title". LA Times. 2016-11-27. Retrieved 2017-06-10. 
  21. ^ Brown, C. L. (January 11, 2017). "Maryland's Melo Trimble is only holdover from '16 Wooden Award Midseason Top 25". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on January 15, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b c Bolch, Ben (February 4, 2017). "Battle of star freshmen goes as advertised, but UCLA's Ball gets more support". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 5, 2017. 
  23. ^ Fowler, Clay (February 3, 2017). "UCLA-Washington men's basketball game pits nation's top point guards". Los Angeles Daily News. 
  24. ^ Bolch, Ben (March 4, 2017). "Bryce Alford gets emotional in sendoff before UCLA's win over Washington State, 77-68". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. 
  25. ^ King, Jay (March 5, 2017). "2017 NBA Draft watch: Lonzo Ball provides more evidence -- Boston Celtics lucky to have a good pick coming". MassLive.com. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  26. ^ Bolch, Ben (March 17, 2017). "UCLA surges to win over Kent State with a flashy finish". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. 
  27. ^ Plaschke, Bill (March 19, 2017). "Bruins have a Ball while disposing of the Bearcats". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. 
  28. ^ Nguyen, Thuc Nhi (March 19, 2017). "Sweet! Lonzo Ball leads UCLA past Cincinnati in NCAA Tournament". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. 
  29. ^ a b Forde, Pat (March 25, 2017). "How De'Aaron Fox ended Lonzo Ball's college career and lifted Kentucky to the brink of another Final Four". Yahoo Sports. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. 
  30. ^ Kilgore, Adam (March 25, 2016). "De'Aaron Fox's record-breaking Sweet 16 placed him among Kentucky's recent greats". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. 
  31. ^ Norlander, Matt (March 29, 2017). "Sour end to NCAA Tournament doesn't change incredible season Lonzo Ball had". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on April 17, 2017. 
  32. ^ a b c Bolch, Ben (March 6, 2017). "UCLA's Lonzo Ball is Pac-12 freshman of the year and one of three Bruins on first team". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. 
  33. ^ Fowler, Clay (March 23, 2017). "Lonzo Ball actually realizing the Jason Kidd comparison". Inside UCLA. Archived from the original on April 17, 2017. 
  34. ^ Bontemps, Tim (June 21, 2017). "For Lonzo Ball, talent isn't an issue heading into the NBA draft. Daddy issues are". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 22, 2017. 
  35. ^ Shelburne, Ramona (May 15, 2017). "Speak It Into Being". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on June 22, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Mason earns Consensus All-America First Team distinction". Salina Post. March 29, 2017. Archived from the original on April 22, 2017. 
  37. ^ a b "USBWA NAMES MEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM, OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY FINALISTS" (Press release). U.S. Basketball Writers Association. March 13, 2016. Archived from the original on March 14, 2017. 
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  39. ^ DeCourcy, Mike (March 6, 2017). "Sporting News 2017 college basketball All-Americans". Sporting News. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. 
  40. ^ Bolch, Ben (March 16, 2017). "UCLA teammates see two sides of freshman guard Lonzo Ball". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. 
  41. ^ Brown, C. L. (March 28, 2017). "Lonzo Ball, Frank Mason III named to the Wooden Award All-American Team". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2017. 
  42. ^ Fowler, Clay (March 7, 2017). "Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford named first-team All-Pac-12". Inside UCLA. Archived from the original on May 6, 2017. 
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  44. ^ "Lakers Sign Ball, Kuzma and Hart". NBA.com. July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  45. ^ "Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball named MGM Resorts NBA Summer League Most Valuable Player". NBA.com. July 17, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2017. 
  46. ^ Youngmisuk, Ohm (July 18, 2017). "Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball named summer league MVP". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 19, 2017. 
  47. ^ Youngmisuk, Ohn (October 7, 2017). "After superlative summer, Lonzo Ball heads to starry Vegas stage". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. 
  48. ^ Ramirez, Joey (July 17, 2017). "Lonzo Ball Named Summer League MVP". NBA.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2017. 
  49. ^ Ramirez, Joey (October 20, 2017). "Lonzo Lights Up Suns In Season's First Win". NBA.com. 
  50. ^ Kaskey-Blomain, Michael (October 22, 2017). "Ball becomes youngest in Lakers history with 10 assist game". 247Sports.com. 
  51. ^ Youngmisuk, Ohm (November 12, 2017). "Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball becomes youngest ever to get triple-double". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 12, 2017. 
  52. ^ Oram, Bill (November 9, 2017). "Lonzo Ball's shooting woes continue as Lakers fall to Wizards". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on November 12, 2017. 
  53. ^ Isaga, J. R. (November 12, 2017). "Lonzo Ball passes LeBron James as youngest in NBA history to record a triple-double". Rappler. Archived from the original on November 12, 2017. 
  54. ^ Nathan, Alec (November 9, 2017). "Lonzo Ball Flirts with Triple-Double in Lakers' Loss to John Wall, Wizards". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on November 12, 2017. 
  55. ^ Ganguli, Tania (November 19, 2017). "Lonzo Ball has another triple-double to lead Lakers to victory over Nuggets". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 20, 2017. 
  56. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2745234-lavar-ball-luke-walton-have-vastly-different-approaches-to-developing-youth
  57. ^ a b O'Connor, Kevin (March 17, 2017). "The Key to Understanding Lonzo Ball's Funky Jumper". The Ringer. Archived from the original on November 6, 2017. 
  58. ^ Lynch, Andrew (March 29, 2017). "Lonzo Ball tells Chris Broussard why his shooting form isn't an issue". FoxSports.com. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. 
  59. ^ a b c Fisher, Jake (October 19, 2017). "Can Lonzo Ball's Jumper Make It in the NBA?". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. 
  60. ^ Curtis, Charles (November 3, 2017). "Charles Barkley explains why Lonzo Ball is 'only half a player'". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017. 
  61. ^ Fowler, Clay (February 16, 2017). "Is Steve Alford comfortable with Lonzo Ball's 30-foot 3-pointers?". Inside Socal. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017. 
  62. ^ a b Sondheimer, Eric (April 2, 2016). "Chino Hills' Lonzo Ball is The Times' boys' basketball player of the year". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 20, 2016. 
  63. ^ a b Guardabascio, Mike (April 30, 2016). "Lonzo Ball earns MVP honors at Ballislife All-American Game in Long Beach". Long Beach Press–Telegram. Archived from the original on May 19, 2016. 
  64. ^ "Report: Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all pass on sponsoring Lonzo Ball". CollegeBasketballTalk. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  65. ^ "Ball debuts shoe line; main pair to cost $495". Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  66. ^ Tracy, Marc (2017-05-05). "At $495, Lonzo Ball's ZO2 Sneakers Have Tastemakers Saying No Thanks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-16. 
  67. ^ Plaschke, Bill (March 12, 2016). "At Chino Hills, the Ball brothers produce a perfect mix of flash and class". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. 
  68. ^ "Hear Lonzo Ball's Debut Rap Song 'Melo Ball 1'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  69. ^ "For the fans 💥 #SuperSaiyan #OutNow". twitter.com. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
  • UCLA bio
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