US basketball sensation LaMelo Ball’s manager says the young star was ‘used like a prostitute’ before leaving home to play professionally in Australia
- LaMelo Ball made the move to Australia to play for the Illawarra Hawks in the NBL
- The star American basketball player is preparing for the 2020 NBA draft
- He has opened up about his time as a teenager and being used like a ‘prostitute’
Basketball sensation LaMelo Ball has opened up about life under the spotlight in the United States as he continues his fledgling career in Australia.
The 18-year-old moved to New South Wales from his home in California this year to play for the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League.
Thanks to his outspoken father LaVar, LaMelo and his brothers Lonzo – who plays in the NBA for the New Orleans Pelicans – and LiAngelo have all been much-hyped basketball prospects as youngsters, starring in their own reality TV show ‘Ball in the Family’ and being the faces of their father’s ‘Big Baller Brand’.
Lavar decided that LaMelo would skip the traditional path of going to university after leaving high school and would instead play professionally in Lithuania with LiAngelo.
LaMelo then made the move to Australia and is shaping as a top pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
Ball is living with his manager Jermaine Jackson in Wollongong, who said the teenager has been used ‘like a prostitute’ by those around him.
American basketball sensation LaMelo Ball (pictured) has opened up about being used ‘like a prostitute’ throughout his entire live before leaving home to play in Australia
The 18-year-old made the move to Wollongong, south of Sydney, to join the Australian league with the Illawarra Hawks to prepare for the 2020 NBA draft
Ball opened up about his unusual childhood, saying he had to sacrifice things other teenagers would take for granted as he chased his NBA dream.
‘People don’t know me, know me as a person. They don’t know what I’ve been through,’ he told Bleacher Report.
‘People don’t look at you as a human. People look at you as a dollar sign. People think playing overseas is easy. It’s not. I just saw life different. Not being a normal kid, not going to dance parties, not going to school… I don’t know any other way.’
Ball described his time playing in Lithuania as ‘a scary movie’ but says he understands his father’s decisions are to benefit his career.
The 18-year-old said he’s never going to turn on his dad because he made him the player he is.
Ball is the second top US prospect after RJ Hampton with the New Zealand Breakers to join the NBL as part of its Next Stars Program.
Ball (pictured) has since expressed that he hasn’t lived the typical life of a teenager
Ball said playing with and against experienced professionals in the NBL as opposed to teenagers in college would help build his strength.
‘I’ve heard they have great strength and conditioning over there, so off the court that would be good and then on the court pros have been through there,’ he said.
‘I think it’s all going to help.’
Ball described his time playing in Lithuania as ‘a scary movie’ but says he understands his father’s decisions are to benefit his career