Wizards

LaMelo Ball says he was 'born' to be the No. 1 pick

Wizards

With the 2020 NBA Draft just one day away, prospect LaMelo Ball will soon learn where the next step in his already wild basketball journey will be.

Based on recent reports, multiple NBA teams believe that the point guard could be the first name off the board on Wednesday. Being the No. 1 overall pick comes with an added amount of pressure and expectations. Ball, however, feels he's ready to handle the spotlight.

"I feel like I'm born for this," Ball said in a session with the media on Wednesday.

"I don't look at anything like that as pressure," he added. "Like I said, it's just basketball. So, being the No. 1 pick definitely holds a lot, but I'm glad I was born for it."

Ball confirmed on Wednesday that he's worked out for four teams ahead of the draft: The Timberwolves, Warriors, Hornets and Pistons. Those first three teams hold the first three picks. NBC Sports Washington's latest mock draft blog has him going to the Hornets.

Already considered a gifted and complete passer, his ball-handling and distribution skills could give him command of an offense early on. The Wizards pick No. 9, and while Ball could be on their radar if the team opts to trade up, the two sides have had no reported formal contact ahead of Wednesday. 

 
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Being in the spotlight is nothing new for Ball. Thanks in large part to his father Lavar Ball, the 19-year-old's family has been in the public eye ever since his older brother, Lonzo, starred at UCLA (where Lonzo committed as a 13-year-old but never attended). He would go on to be the No. 2 pick by the Lakers in 2017 and is currently playing for the New Orleans Pelicans.

In high school, LaMelo traveled internationally playing basketball for multiple years and he then opted to play for the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL rather than compete collegiately. 

Long before he was a top prospect for the draft, Ball was already a household name to many.

Now, none of that past matters. Ball's next destination will be the biggest one yet. If that happens to be with the No. 1 overall pick, he feels he's ready for the challenge.