Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball has been voted NBA Rookie of the Year.
The 19-year-old seemed to have locked up the honour early with a stellar first three months in his maiden campaign, but a mid-season injury added some suspense.
As Ball missed five weeks in March and April with a fractured list, top draft pick Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves began to heat up.
👀 the BEST from #KiaROY LaMelo Ball's rookie campaign! 🔥@MELOD1P x #ThatsGame pic.twitter.com/J63MYpP418— NBA (@NBA) June 16, 2021
But Ball's overall body of work prevailed, as he received 84 first-place votes and 465 overall points from the selection panel.
Edwards was second with 15 first-place votes and 309 points, while Tyrese Haliburton of the Sacramento Kings came third with 114 points.
Ball averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 28.8 minutes across 51 games.
His signature performance may have come on January 9, when he had 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against the Atlanta Hawks to become the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double.
Edwards finished with averages of 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 72 games.