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Hornets’ LaMelo Ball wins NBA Rookie of the Year; third Charlotte player to win award

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball won the NBA's Rookie of the Year.
Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball won the NBA's Rookie of the Year.(AP Photo/Nell Redmond | AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 4:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball, the third player selected in last year’s NBA Draft, won the Rookie of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

This is the third time a Charlotte basketball player has won the NBA’s top rookie award.

Emeka Okafor won Rookie of the Year while with the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004-05 season, while Larry Johnson won the award with the Charlotte Hornets in the 1991-92 season.

Ball, the Hornets’ point guard, played 51 games this season. He missed 21 games with a fractured wrist.

He was sidelined with the injury on March 20, and returned to play on May 2, helping the Hornets earn a spot in NBA’s play-in game.

Ball, only 19 years old from Chino Hills, Calif., averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.

He led all rookies this season in assists. He was third in points and rebounds.

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