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LaMelo Ball thinks he 'definitely' should go No. 1 in 2020 NBA draft

As the youngest Ball child, it’s likely LaMelo Ball does not lack much in the confidence department. So when Yahoo Sports asked him recently whether he should be the top pick in the 2020 NBA draft, his answer shouldn’t be too surprising.

“Most definitely,” Ball told Yahoo Sports. “I believe in myself and I’ve worked hard to get here.”

If he does go No. 1 overall in June, LaMelo will have draft-position bragging rights over oldest brother Lonzo, who went second to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017 before being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade this offseason.

LaMelo Ball is currently 12 games into his career with the Illawarra Hawks, an Australian club that plays in the National Basketball League. He won’t spend more than a season there, though — he’s a surefire lottery pick at this point, and ESPN’s latest mock draft has him going No. 1 overall. 

Ball also respects the other top draft prospects in his class, telling Yahoo Sports “The other guys at the top of the draft, James (Wiseman) and Anthony (Edwards), are very talented too. But just in the way I believe in myself, I think I’m the top pick.” 

LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks carries the ball up during their game against the Sydney Kings.

Ball,18, was elevated to the Chino Hills varsity squad as an eighth-grader to play with his other brother, LiAngelo. Eventually, lightning-rod father LaVar Ball pulled them out of school for an abbreviated professional stint in Lithuania

A 6-foot-7 guard who has easy handles and a smooth jumper, LaMelo Ball is also the Hawks’ top rebounder (7.5 boards per game), on top of averaging 17 points with 7.0 assists. Last week, he became the youngest player in NBL history to notch a triple-double. 

“I don’t want to be a player that’s just drafted and is a role player in the NBA,” he told Yahoo Sports. “I want to keep rising from there and be one of the best to ever play the game. I’ve been working my whole life for this.”

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