LaMelo Ball wins NBA Rookie of the Year award

The Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball heads for the net in the second quarter at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2021 in New York City. (Getty Images via AFP)

NEW YORK – Charlotte Hornets goalie LaMelo Ball was named NBA Rookie of the Year on Thursday, beating competition from Anthony Edwards of Minnesota and Sacramento Kings goalie Tyrese Haliburton.

Ball, 19, was selected by the Hornets with the third overall pick in the 2020 Draft after spending the 2019-20 season with the Illawara Hawks of the Australian National Basketball League.

The teenager averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.59 steals in 51 games for Charlotte, leading all rookies in assists and steals.

Ball received 84 first-place votes from a global panel of 99 sports writers and broadcasters who decided on the award, for a total of 465 points.

Timberwolves rookie Edwards received 15 votes for first place and was second with 309 points. Haliburton obtained 114 points.

Under the preferential voting system, players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote, and one point for each third-place vote.

Ball’s impressive inaugural season included a triple-double for Charlotte in a game against the Atlanta Hawks in January, making him the youngest player to win a triple in the NBA.

Other notable performances include a display of 34 points in a game against the Utah Jazz in February.

Ball is the youngest of three basketball brothers who rose to prominence during high school in California.

Older brother Lonzo Ball, 23, was the second overall pick in the 2017 Draft, picked by the Los Angeles Lakers before being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.

LiAngelo Ball, 22, is an undrafted free agent who has yet to enter the NBA.


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