Charlotte Hornets NBA player LaMelo Ball is planning some major investments to give back to his local basketball community, starting with the youth.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the 2021 Rookie of the Year player is making moves to start his own high school basketball team in the North Carolina town to help grow and expand the game for future young basketball players.
The outlet shares that Ball is partnering with basketball facility Carolina Courts to launch the “1 of 1 Prep Academy” for any and all up-and-coming basketball players in the coming months, in addition to a travel team. As a brand ambassador for Puma, both of Ball’s teams will be sponsored by the athleisure brand. Ball’s investments by way of the upgraded practice facility will put these local student athletes in a position to have access to some of the best resources in the world.
Ball’s academy solely focuses on the sport with no formal classes, so players that opt to sign up for his academy will have to give up their school eligibility to play on the team — which will be playing on a high-level schedule to prepare them for the professional ranks.
— Melo (@MELOD1P) August 5, 2021
According to a press release, the idea behind the program is to help “provide student-athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest level, equip each player for successes on the court, and prepare each athlete for a bright future off the court.”
In addition to launching his own basketball academy, Ball has also been using his talents on the court to support POWERHANDZ — the only Black woman-owned global athletic training and rehabilitation product tech platform in existence. As previously reported by AfroTech, the NBA star — who’s been using the brand since 2019 — recently formed a partnership with POWERHANDZ to make him a general partner, brand ambassador and board member of PH Innovation Holdings, Inc. and The Power to Give Foundation.