Chino Hills resident and Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Tuesday, a day after he started his first game with the team that drafted him as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The award was for games played Dec. 22 through Jan. 31.
Ball is averaging 12.2 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals in his first 21 games as an NBA player.
He became the eighth Hornets’ rookie to earn Rookie of the Month honors and is the first Charlotte player to earn the award in the first month of the season.
He set an NBA record by becoming the youngest player in league history to record a triple-double, scoring 22 points and having 12 rebounds and 11 assists Jan. 9 in Charlotte’s 113-105 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
This season, Ball has totaled 243 points, 118 rebounds and 121 assists, becoming the seventh player in league history to record at least 225 points, 115 rebounds and 115 assists in the first 20 games as an NBA player.
Ball started his first NBA game on Monday, finishing with 14 points and five rebounds and had a team-high seven assists in Charlotte’s 129-121 win over the Miami Heat.
He finished 3 for 11 shooting, including 2 of 4 from the 3-point line, and made all six of his free throws in 31 minutes.
The Hornets will start a five-game home stand on Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers, followed by Friday’s game vs. the Utah Jazz, Sunday’s game vs. the Washington Wizards, and Monday’s game against the Houston Rockets.