KEY POINTS

  • LaMelo Ball is expected to return this week from injury
  • Illawarra Hawks is coming off two upset victories against Adelaide and Sydney
  • South Australia is badly hit by the wildfires in Australia

Sidelined with a foot injury that made him miss his team’s games in the month of December, top-NBA prospect LaMelo Ball is about to give an assist outside of the basketball court.

In a statement by Illawarra Hawks posted on their website, the 18-year old point guard is aware of the disaster that is happening at the country’s south coast. “It’s sad to see what is happening on the South Coast of Australia. People have lost their homes and everything they own,” said the youngest of the three Ball brothers.

Ball, who hails from Chino Hills, CA, is no stranger to wildfires as his home state has been dealing with their own wildfires over the past years, though, the wildfire in Australia is way bigger than what is happening in Cali, per CBS Bay Area article. Worst drought within the past decade, heat waves, and climate change are believed to be the ones that caused the disaster.

“My parents taught me to help out wherever I can, so this is my way of helping out,” added the youngest son of sports personality LaVar Ball and Tina Ball. The team, together with the news publication company Illawarra Mercury, will team up to raise funds in helping the victims of the inferno.

The Hawks played six games without the 6-foot-6 court general, going 2-4 in the process. Both victories came from a spectacular fashion – a 93-84 win over the Adelaide 36ers without veterans Josh Boone and David Andersen in front of a record-breaking crowd of 8,824 people in South Australia, and an 85-80 upset victory over powerhouse Sydney Kings on New Year’s Eve.

The gesture by Ball garnered positive feedback from the fans.

Considered to be the number one pick of the upcoming NBA draft, the youngest brother of New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo has been averaging 17 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.7 steals. His last two games were triple-doubles – with the first one earned him the distinction of being the youngest player ever in NBL history to wound up with a triple-double – before the injury.