LaMelo Ball pledges one month of Australian league salary to bushfire victims

Jack Baer

As rampant bushfires devastate lives and ecosystems throughout Australia, the most prominent basketball player in the country is trying to do some good.

LaMelo Ball, the 2020 NBA draft prospect playing for the National Basketball League’s Illawarra Hawks in Australia this season, has pledged to donate one month of his salary to help victims of the country’s bushfires, his team announced Thursday.

“It’s sad to see what is happening on the South Coast of Australia, Ball said. “People have lost their homes and everything they own. My parents taught me to help out wherever I can, so this is my way of helping out.”

The Hawks will also be raising money for the Salvation Army Disaster Appeal during their game against the Melbourne United.

Per The Athletic, players in Australia’s Next Stars program receive a salary roughly equivalent to $68,500 for a year.

LaMelo Ball is playing in Australia during one of the worst natural disasters in the country's history. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Ball has called Australia home this season as he awaits eligibility for the NBA draft, in which he is projected to be a top-three pick. Yahoo Sports mocked the dynamic point guard No. 2 overall to the New York Knicks in December, and he is very much in the conversation for No. 1 overall.

In 12 games with the Hawks, Ball has averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game while shooting 37 percent from the field and 24 percent from 3-point range.

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