LaMelo Ball happy with NBL fit at Hawks

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LaMelo Ball has first run with Hawks (2:14)

LaMelo Ball speaks to the media after his first training run with new NBL team the Illawarra Hawks. (2:14)

LaMelo Ball says he has faith in the pathway as he begins life in the NBL with the Illawarra Hawks.

A likely first-round selection in next year's NBA draft, Ball has opted to spend a season as a professional in Australia instead of play college basketball in the United States.

The point guard trained with the Hawks for the first time on Wednesday, having arrived as the face of the NBL's Next Stars program alongside New Zealand Breakers recruit RJ Hampton.

The younger brother of New Orleans guard Lonzo will turn 18 on Thursday and spend the milestone watching the Boomers play the United States in Melbourne.

Ball, whose high-profile father LaVar also touched down in Wollongong this week, insists life hasn't changed too much since moving from California.

And the NBA hopeful says he has confidence in his decision after watching Terrance Ferguson successfully make the jump in 2017.

Now a key fixture at the Oklahoma City Thunder, Ferguson chose the NBL over a college stint in a unique approach that has led others to follow.

"I felt it was best for me ... I really just talked between my family, they all liked it," Ball said.

"Yeah, T Ferg ... some people came from the States (previously) ... it works, so I trust it."

The teenager's physicality will be tested in a traditionally rough and tumble league but first-year coach Matt Flinn has been impressed by the early signs.

"What's impressed me so far is his willingness to pass and that adds to chemistry, and it's fun to play with," Flinn said.

"We're going to turn some heads, but we know we're starting at the bottom and have some work to do."

The Hawks will roll out a deep squad, with 10-year NBA veteran Aaron Brooks another back-court addition to complement the retention of four-time Olympian David Andersen.

"The NBA talent we've brought in only bodes well to help our younger guys and it's not just LaMelo who has aspirations to do great things in this sport," Flinn said.