LaMelo Ball's first practice with the Illawarra Hawks wasn't a highlight-filled masterpiece, but the fit appears to be solid.
Ball took the court for the first time for the NBL squad Wednesday, dropping dimes and appearing to play solid team basketball in the limited footage available. ESPN posted highlights (beginning at 8:52), and there doesn't appear to be much beyond your basic five-on-five run.
At the least, Ball won't be using this footage to send to NBA scouts. He knocks down some free throws, makes a pass against a press, runs in transition and plays some defense—not exactly the kind of stuff that's going to elicit the most social media reaction.
For a guy who made headlines in high school for putting up gaudy stats while jacking up a ton of shots, though, it's probably good for scouts to see him do a few things other than shoot.
"What's impressed me so far is his willingness to pass and that adds to chemistry, and it's fun to play with," coach Matt Flinn said, per AAP (h/t ESPN). "We're going to turn some heads, but we know we're starting at the bottom and have some work to do."
The Hawks finished in seventh place last season in the NBL standings. Ball will be joined in the league by R.J. Hampton, another prep star with NBA dreams who chose to forgo the college route in favor of a professional contract. Hampton will play for the New Zealand Breakers.