• LaMelo Ball signs a multiyear endorsement deal with Puma
  • Ball will be joining a growing pool of NBA players under the sports brand
  • Ball's signing is the latest progress in Puma's basketball relaunch that started in 2018

Top NBA prospect LaMelo Ball has begun to make waves in business off the court after he signed a multiyear shoe endorsement deal to become one of the faces of sports brand Puma.

Ahead of the rookie draft scheduled on Nov. 18, the 19-year-old was elated to announce the latest development in his young career.

"I am really excited to be joining the Puma family," Ball said, per ESPN’s Nick DePaula. "I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because Puma will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100 percent authentic, whether that's playing basketball or showing off my personal style, and that's what I want to do with Puma."

Ball will be joining a growing pool of NBA players under the Puma brand, including New York’s R.J. Barrett, Denver’s Michael Porter Jr., L.A. Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley III, Phoenix’s DeAndre Ayton, and Boston’s Marcus Smart.

The signing also marked Ball’s exit from the Big Baller Brand – the brand founded and launched by his father, LaVar. Under BBB, Ball paraded his first signature shoe called the "MB1" at the age of 16.

Notably, LaMelo’s older brother Lonzo, who currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans, also parted ways with the family-launched business in 2019 due to “some concerns of embezzlement from a longtime partner,” CBS Sports reported. The former second overall pick would then sign with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports in September, making him a sneaker free agent.

Puma, meanwhile, is expected to launch Ball’s first product capsule with the brand on the same day of the draft.

"LaMelo's physical gifts and dynamic play on the court, as well as his unique sense of personal style, make him a natural fit for Puma," said PUMA’s global director of brand and marketing Adam Petrick. "We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes, and at just 19 years old, we can't wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball."

Ball’s addition to the roster of Puma is the latest headway in the brand’s blueprint to revive its basketball shoe market after being out for two decades until 2018.

LaMelo Ball at a practice session with Illawarra Hawks Lonzo Wire - USA Today