LaMelo Ball Donating Month's NBL Salary to Australian Wildfire Relief

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIJanuary 2, 2020

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 22: LaMelo Ball of the Hawks watches from the bench during the round 12 NBL match between the Illawarra Hawks and the New Zealand Breakers at WIN Entertainment Centre on December 22, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

LaMelo Ball is 18 years old, but he already gets it. 

The Illawarra Hawks point guard will donate one month of his NBL salary to those affected by the New South Wales wildfires in Australia, his agent Jermaine Jackson told ESPN Australia's Corey Williams on Thursday.

"It's sad to see what is happening on the South Coast of Australia," Ball said in a statement released by the team. "People have lost their homes and everything they own. My parents taught me to help out wherever I can, so this is my way of helping out."

Earlier Thursday, the BBC reported that a week-long state of emergency has been declared "in response to the escalating bushfire threat. 

"Since September, bushfires have killed 18 people and destroyed more than 1,200 homes across NSW and neighbouring Victoria. At least 17 people remain missing after fires this week alone," the report continued.

Ball announced his decision to play in Australia's NBL for the Hawks on ESPN's The Jump in June:

ESPN @espn

"I'm trying to be the No. 1 pick for the 2020 draft." LaMelo Ball announces on The Jump with @Rachel__Nichols that he will play in Australia's NBL for the Illawarra Hawks next season. https://t.co/G9z4bCl4E5


Ball has averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds, seven assists and 1.6 steals across 12 games this season.

Ballislife.com @Ballislife

LAMELO BALL! Youngest in @NBL history with a triple-double 32 PTS (11-20 FG) 13 AST (2 TO) 11 REB 4 3PT 1 STL W https://t.co/1jf71QWBP4

Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress

The highlight reel of LaMelo Ball's phenomenal triple double last night probably won't show this super-important defensive possession he had right before the game-tying 3-pointer. This is not a play he would have made two months ago. Impressive stuff from the #1 pick frontrunner. https://t.co/umcYMB1Sbt

Williams additionally reported on Dec. 30 that Ball has been offered a $100 million endorsement deal by an unnamed sneaker company:

Corey “Homicide” Williams @chomicide

BREAKING NEWS: A source close to me in the USA have just told me @MELOD1P has been offered $100MILLION & A PRIVATE JET to sign a Sneaker Endorsement Deal. With an offer like this, no way he isn’t going #1 in the @nba 2020 Draft. https://t.co/IJ33N4s4E5

Ball has been out with a foot injury he suffered in early December, though Australian outlet the Daily Telegraph (h/t USA Today's Lonzo Wire) disclosed Thursday afternoon that "Illawarra officials remain hopeful" the potential No. 1 pick of the 2020 NBA draft will return to action as early Jan. 6.  


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