LaMelo Ball fails in bid to buy NBL side Illawarra Hawks

Omnisport

LaMelo Ball has failed in his bid to buy the Illawarra Hawks, with a consortium including former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo winning the licence for the team.

Ball's business manager previously said in April his purchase of the team was "a done deal", but the National Basketball League announced on Wednesday he had been beaten to the punch.

The 18-year-old brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball joined the Hawks ahead of the 2019-20 NBL season in Australia and was named Rookie of the Year, cementing his status as a contender for the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games for the team.

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Despite Ball's hopes of securing a permanent stake in the Hawks, a group including Colangelo and former Sydney Kings owner Dorry Kordahi now owns them.

NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman said: "The decision in choosing the right owners was not an easy one and I want to acknowledge and thank all those who were part of the thorough process undertaken.

"I would like, in particular, to thank LaMelo Ball and his organisation for the support and interest shown in wanting to achieve the best outcome for the team that has helped him have a chance at being the number one NBA Draft pick.

"We hope we can explore future opportunities with LaMelo and wish him all the best for the NBA Draft in October and his ambition to be the best ever player in the game."

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