Hornets' LaMelo Ball Says He Could Have Competed in NBA When He Was 14 Years Old

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 11, 2021

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball shoots against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, May 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball is lighting up the NBA at 19 years of age, averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

However, Ball feels that he could have been competing in the league five years ago.

Ball was asked in an exclusive interview with Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times when he felt he could have "reasonably competed" in the NBA, and the Hornet star provided this response: "Reasonably competed? I would say, my thought process, I was 14 at the time when I thought I could have been."

As a 14-year-old, Ball was lighting up high school teams as a freshman at Chino Hills High School (Chino Hills, California).

Per Jeff Borzello of ESPN, he averaged 16.4 points and 3.8 assists per game for his team, which won the state championship and went undefeated in 35 games. He shared the court with his older brothers, Lonzo and LiAngelo.

No player has ever taken the NBA court younger than the age of 18. Ex-Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum stands as the youngest-ever NBA player, making his NBA debut on Nov. 2, 2005, six days after his 18th birthday.

As for now, Ball is looking to lead the Hornets to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. They currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference with four games remaining.


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