LaMelo Ball Named Best Breakthrough Athlete at 2021 ESPYs
Hornets Guard Wins The Award After Being Named Rookie of the Year
July 10, 2021 – Today at the 2021 ESPYs, Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball was named the Best Breakthrough Athlete following his rookie campaign, which also earned him the 2020-21 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year. Other nominees for the award included, Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers), Chase Young (Washington Football Team) and Crystal Dangerfield (Minnesota Lynx).
Ball, who was selected third overall by the Hornets in the 2020 NBA Draft, averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 28.8 minutes per game, appearing in 51 games (31 starts). Ball ranked 17th in assists and ninth in steals per game among league leaders in his first season as he became the only player in the last 60 years to lead all rookies in total points, rebounds, assists and steals at the All-Star break.
Ball is the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double after totaling 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists vs. Atlanta on Jan. 9 at 19 years and 140 days old.