LiAngelo Ball was the surprise standout for the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA Summer League on Sunday, putting up 16 points in his debut.
LiAngelo Ball is scratching and clawing for his chance to play in the NBA alongside his brothers Lonzo and LaMelo.
Sunday’s performance in his NBA Summer League debut could bring him closer to that goal.
Ball was red hot in his 16 minutes of action, hitting 5-of-8 3-point attempts on his way to 16 points against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The middle Ball brother also added 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals to his stat sheet.
LiAngelo Ball put on a show in his NBA Summer League debut with the Hornets
Ball went undrafted in 2018 and had to miss the 2019 Summer League while recovering from surgery on his ankle. He didn’t get the chance to play in the G League after the season was canceled due to COVID-19. Summer League wasn’t held in 2020 either. That makes this Ball’s first real opportunity to impress his way onto an NBA roster.
While Lonzo and LaMelo were always sure-fire NBA talents, LiAngelo was a fringe prospect. He followed Lonzo to UCLA but was arrested for shoplifting ahead of the team’s 2017 season-opener in China. He left the program after being suspended.
Since then, he has played in Lithuania and in the Junior Basketball Association started by his father.
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is now 22 years old and hoping to break through to the NBA level. If he makes the Charlotte Hornets‘ roster, he’ll be LaMelo’s teammate.
More performances like Sunday will be the key. If he stays hot, he has a chance. He has to make the most of every minute.
Ball’s next opportunity will come on Tuesday when the Hornets take on the Sacramento Kings.