Monday, 06 March 2017 16:55

Lonzo Ball Named 1st-team All-America Selection


USA Today, The Sporting News has listed Ball as a first-team All-American

UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball has captured USA Today first-team All-America honors, as announced Monday by the national news outlet.

Ball joins Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Josh Hart (Villanova), Frank Mason III (Kansas) and Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) as USA Today first-team All-America selections.

In addition, Ball has been named a first-team All-American by The Sporting News, which also has listed North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, Hart, Mason III and Swanigan as first-team honorees.

A 6-foot-6 guard from Chino Hills, Calif., Ball has helped lead UCLA to a 28-3 overall record and a 15-3 mark in Pac-12 play. Ball leads the nation in assists per game (7.8) and total assists (241), having set a new Pac-12 freshman assist record, surpassing the previous mark of 229 assists set by Gary Payton as a freshman in 1986-87 at Oregon State.

Ball has averaged 14.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, shooting 55.5 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range. The freshman guard has recorded at least 10 assists in seven games, dishing a season-high 14 assists in UCLA’s 77-68 win over Washington State last Saturday night in the team’s regular-season finale.

In addition, Ball ranks second in the Pac-12 in steals (2.0 spg), 14th in scoring (14.9 ppg) and 16th in rebounding (6.2 rpg). He’s currently on pace to become the first Pac-12 player to average at least 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds in one season since California’s Jason Kidd in 1993-94.

UCLA has secured the No. 3 seed in this week’s Pac-12 Tournament and will play on Thursday, March 9, against the winner of Wednesday’s first-round matchup between No. 6-seed USC and No. 11-seed Washington. UCLA’s game on Thursday will begin at approximately 8:30 pm PT (TV: ESPN).

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