LaMelo Ball joining Illawarra Hawks of Australia's NBL

Alius Koroliovas  Getty Images

Alius Koroliovas Getty Images

And this one comes from a famous family.

LaMelo Ball, Lonzo Ball's youngest brother, is heading back overseas to play professional basketball. In the aftermath, LaVar arranged for both to play professionally in Lithuania.

Ball was recruited for the Hawks under the NBL's Next Stars Program, which places players eligible for the National Basketball Association draft and hand-picked by scouts with Australian teams. LaVar had teased a looming decision for LaMelo with China and Australia being the final two options. Hampton agreed to a deal with the New Zealand Breakers in May, declining an opportunity to join multiple top-ranked collegiate programs.

According to a report from the New York Times' Marc Stein, Ball could be headed down under to play next season.

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NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger told Yahoo Sports earlier this month that the league was pursuing Ball via its "Next Stars" program, the same program that helped bring Hampton aboard.

The 17-year-old LaMelo was a five-star prospect in the Class of 2019, but spent 2018 with the Lithuania's BC Prienai, the Los Angeles Ballers of the JBL, and at the SPIRE Institute.

LaMelo Ball lives in the shadow of his recently-traded older brother and boisterous father, but he has a big decision ahead of him. "My experience in Lithuania will help make the adjustment easier".

The 17-year-old guard is rated as one of the best U.S. high school basketballers and is expected to be a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

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