Posts tagged with "Sports News"

Illustration By Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Sha’Carri Richardson Faces Olympics Suspension

By: Emily Bunn

American sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, has been suspended from the Olympics for one month.

Sha’Carri Richardson has recently been drug tested and found positive for marijuana usage. As such, she faces a one month suspension from the Olympics- threatening the sensational sprinter’s involvement in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Her suspension is set to begin June 28th, 2021.

The New York Times reports that the timing of this suspension could clear Richardson in time to run in the 4×100 meter relay, which takes place later in the games. However, Richardson is set to miss the qualifying rounds for the women’s 100.

Richardson has recently reveled in victory at last month’s 100-meter race at the U.S. track and field trials in Oregon. However, while in Oregon, the Olympian was also dealing with unexpected death of her mother. Not only was this news devastating, but Richardson found out about the very personal circumstance from a reporter.

As a means of coping with the harrowing tragedy, Richardson admitted to her marijuana usage. She stated: “It sent me into a state of emotional panic…I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.” It should be notes that in Oregon, the use of recreational marijuana has been legalized.

Cannabis is still among the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee ruling of prohibited substances. The famed athlete apologized to her family, friends, and sponsors for her drug usage: “I greatly apologize if I let you guys down, and I did.”

As a result of Richardson’s suspension, several top runners have been bumped up in their rank positioning. Jenna Prandini is now set to be one of the three American Olympians involved in the women’s 100. Additionally, Gabby Thomas now stands as an alternative athlete for the same race.

Commenting to the Today Show on the situation, Richardson pleaded for spectators to recognize their shared humanity: “I just say, don’t judge me and I am human — I’m you, I just happen to run a little faster.

Jamaine Ortiz Illustration for 360 Magazine by Kaelen Felix

Q×A with Jamaine Ortiz

Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz, an up and coming, 23-year-old boxer, is making his name in the world of boxing. After growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts, the young boxer turned pro in 2016. His amateur record is 100-14 and he has already won many awards for his skill.

During the recent Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight that was shown on pay-per-view, Ortiz was victorious over Sulaiman Segawa of Silver Spring, Maryland. After scoring a technical knockout in the last 10 seconds of the seventh round, Ortiz gained the WBC USNBC Silver lightweight title. This was his first fight outside of New England and he certainly made himself known in the fighting community. After winning this fight, Ortiz jumped from 76th to 44th in the world for the lightweight division. If he keeps winning, Ortiz is predicted to fight for a major world title by late 2021.

360 Magazine sat down with Ortiz to ask him questions about his professional career, personal life and future.

What was your upbringing like? Was there always a focus on athletics?

I started boxing at seven years old, and I was always an athletic kid, playing sports and outside.

Where did you learn to box?

I learned how to box at the Boys & Girls Club of Ionic Ave.

Why boxing?

I use to get into fights as a kid, I like that its a one on one sport I don’t have to rely on anyone. Over time, I noticed I was winning a lot and kept it going.

Who are your role models, boxing or otherwise?

My role model was my coach Carlos Garcia.

You’re currently the Undefeated World Boxing Youth World lightweight champion. What does this accomplishment mean to you?

I’m actually the former Youth World lightweight champion due to my age since I turned 24 last April, currently, I hold the WBC USNBC Silver lightweight title. The accomplishment is just a stepping stone, I have far more to go and I understand its a process and this is part of the process.

Your nickname is ‘The Technician’ where does this come from?

A technician is a person skilled in an art or craft by dictionary standards and when it comes to boxing, and me being a carpenter, I’m now an active trader. It was a perfect fit since everything I do, including things in my personal life, I’m technical about it. So it’s a name that reflects more than just boxing.

You’ve been boxing competitively for more than a decade. How have you evolved during that time, technique-wise and also personally?

Time is the mother of greatness, practicing repeatedly overtime is only natural; I’m going to get better.

How has your career been impacted by COVID-19 and 2020?

Luckily I was able to get a fight right before the impact of covid came I didn’t get to fight as much as I normally would. I probably would have had about 4 fights in a year but I had two with the last one being a great exposure bout.

Tell us about your interests outside of boxing.

I enjoy nature and I spend most of my time with family. Always working on self-development, a lot of stocks, and trying to find real estate deals.

Do you still have Olympic aspirations? What are your future boxing goals?

Olympics of boxing is an amateur sport but recently I think in 2016, they allowed pros to compete but it is heavily dominated by amateurs. In the next year, I see myself becoming World Champion at the lightweight Division and reaching for that pound for pound list.

What is your go-to move in a fight?

Not sure, probably switching from orthodox to southpaw.

What makes you unique as a boxer?

My ability to switch stances easily and my technique.

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Behind The Ropes

Donovan Mitchell, BODYARMOR x adidas

Donovan Mitchell is fresh off a five-year, $195 million extension with the Utah Jazz, and now he’s dropping some fresh, new kicks.

The star guard teamed up with BODYARMOR for a collaboration with adidas to create a limited edition version of his D.O.N. Issue #2 sneaker called the adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR.

The shoe features a brand new colorway inspired by Mitchell’s favorite BODYARMOR flavor, Tropical Punch.

D.O.N., which stands for “Determination Over Negativity,” is representative of Mitchell’s mindset both on and off the court.

The new shoe features the BOUNCE midsole, which enhances comfort and stability. It is also a higher heel counter, which provides even more containment and support. A webbed lacing system and the soft, breathable mesh upper provide even more lateral support.

The D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR will not be available for purchase. Rather, it is available to fans and consumers nationwide through giveaways on BODYARMOR social platforms beginning Tuesday.

There will be just 100 pairs, so those who can get their hands on the shoes will be the envy of sneaker collectors everywhere.

Mitchell was first announced a partner and investor with BODYARMOR Sports Drink in Jan. 2018. He was another premier name added to a list of athlete partners that includes James Harden, Trae Young, Megan Rapinoe, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Kemba Walker, Dustin Johnson, Naomi Osaka, Mike Trout and more.

Mitchell took the league by storm in the 2017-2018 season. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft and was traded to the Utah Jazz the same night.

He won the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest and was named an All-Star during the 2019-2020 season. Through the first three seasons of his career, he is averaging 22.7 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 4 assists per game.

BODYARMOR is now the No. 2 sports drink sold nationwide.

For more information about BODYARMOR, you can click right here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

You can also follow Donovan Mitchell on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Robinson Cano MLB illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Robinson Cano Suspended for PED

By Hannah DiPilato

Major League Baseball player Robinson Cano has been suspended after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, confirmed on Wednesday in a statement that Cano will be banned for the entire 2021 season. 

This is the 38-year-old’s second suspension due to testing positive for PED. In 2018, while Cano played for the Seattle Mariners, he tested positive for using diuretic and missed 80 games according to ESPN

At the time of his first offense, Cano said the diuretic “was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.” He said he was unaware the drug was banned in the MLB. 

In the MLB, testing positive for a PED a second time will result in an automatic 162 game suspension. This rule is an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. 

Neither Cano nor the players’ union has made a statement about his second positive test for a PED. 

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” said Mets president Sandy Alderson in a statement. “The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance-enhancing substances from the game.”

Cano will have to forfeit his 2021 salary where he was set to make $24 million. According to Fox Business, Cano is still set to make $48 million between 2022 and 2023. The Mets are responsible for $40 million while the Mariners agreed to pay the remaining $8 million. 

The news of Cano’s suspension is great news for player DJ LeMaiheu. According to the New York Post, LeMaiheu would be the perfect player for either the New York Mets or the New York Yankees to add to their rosters. After rejecting an $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, LeMaiheu is a free agent. 

After the loss of Cano for the 2021 season, the Mets are now in need of a starting second baseman. This adds to the list of starting positions that the Mets are seeking out since they are already looking for a starting pitcher, catcher and center field. The Mets could also start Jeff McNeil at second base, a position he would be comfortable in. 

Cano was traded to the Mets in 2018 sending player Jared Kelenic to the Mariners. Throughout his 16 seasons playing the sport, Cano is a .303 hitter with 334 home runs, 1,302 RBIs and two Gold Gloves according to ESPN

Cano was on his way to achieving 3,000 career hits and was at 2,624 before his suspension. This suspension will certainly create uncertainty for the future of his baseball career.

Tyson vs. Jones Jr. x Roots of Fight

by Justin Lyons

“Iron” Mike Tyson and Roy “Captain Hook” Jones Jr. will step back into the ring Nov. 28 for an exhibition fight at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Roots of Fight, the official apparel partner for the match, is getting fans ready with the official Triller Presents Tyson vs. Jones Collection, a collaboration with Triller, an AI-powered video app that will present the fight.

The collection is exclusive to Roots of Fight and includes graphic apparel across five styles on sweatshirts and shirts. It is inspired by the colors of the promotional posters that sport bright yellow, pink and blue.

It also draws inspiration from retro concert tees worn to support for the event, to show off your favorite star or even just to wear around town.

Items in the collection retail at $48 and $80 depending upon the style. It is available by clicking right here.

The match itself features two boxing legends. Tyson, 54, is the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world while Jones Jr., 51, racked up 66 wins in his career and held belts in four different weight classes.

Tyson is one of the most well-known and feared fighters in the history of boxing. He opened his career with 37 consecutive wins and finished at 50-6. His last professional fight was June 11, 2005.

After retiring as one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, Tyson’s stock rose as a pop culture icon, appearing in television and film, including as the lead of “Mike Tyson Mysteries,” an animated series that sees the heavyweight champ solving Scooby-Doo-like mysteries.

The fight is available on Pay-Per-View by clicking right here. It will begin at 9 p.m. EST and cost $49.99.

While Tyson vs. Jones Jr. is the main event, Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson, Badou Jack vs. Blake McKernan and Viddal Riley vs. Rashad Coulter are also part of the main card.

Jamaine Ortiz vs. Nahir Albright, Irvin Gonzalez vs. Edward Vazquez and Juiseppe Cusumano vs. Nick Jones will be preliminary fights.

You can learn more about Roots of Fight by clicking right here. You can also follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Trevor Bauer x Lids

All-star Cincinnati Reds pitcher and 2020 Cy Young Award finalist Trevor Bauer has partnered with Lids, the leading sports retailer.

In the 25-year history of Lids, Bauer is the first MLB player to partner with the company. Lids will become the exclusive headwear retailer for Bauer.

Bauer caught attention for his personal merchandise and custom cleats during the 2020 baseball season, and he will unveil several limited-edition custom hats, shirts and customizations throughout the year, all of which will be available nationwide.

Bauer said he has been a Lids customer for many years.

“As I’ve become more invested in design and branding in recent years, the opportunity to collaborate with such an iconic retailer, especially as its first MLB athlete partner, is really meaningful,” Bauer said.

Lawrence Berger, co-founder and partner at Ames Watson and Chairman of FanzzLids Holdings, said Bauer is equally impressive on and off the mound.

“Lids has been the leading headwear retailer for years, in large part due to the popularity of baseball hats, and we cannot think of a better individual to be our first MLB athlete partner than Trevor. We look forward to combining his passion for design with our talented creative team to make some incredible merchandise and content,” Berger said.

Bauer is the reigning MLBPA Players Choice NL Outstanding Pitcher and a finalist for the 2020 National League Cy Young Award, which will be announced Wednesday.

Bauer puts his season up against those of Jacob deGrom, who won the award in 2018 and 2019, and Yu Darvish, who debuted in 2012 with Bauer and is eyeing his first Cy Young Award, as well.

Bauer posted his career-best earned run average in 2020 of 1.73, second best in baseball only behind Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber. He won five games and anchored a Reds pitching staff that landed the seventh seed in the playoffs.

He also garnered attention for contributions to baseball as a whole with his self-titled YouTube channel and Momentum, an athlete-driven media company with the goal of connecting fans to the game.

Momentum uses authentic player stories to affect the public perception of baseball. With over 500 original pieces of audio and video, Momentum has built popular series like Bauer Bytes and Live At Bats. Its content has also been distributed through digital channels and partners like PlayersTV and FOX Sports.

You can follow Bauer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

You can also follow Lids on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers Win 2020 World Series

The 2020 World Series was one that baseball fans won’t forget anytime soon. A season that struggled to get off the ground and faced a few pandemic outbreaks ended with the most difficult gauntlet of a playoff format in baseball history. 9 wins later, the two best regular season teams in baseball clashed.

The season closed in Arlington with a battle between the little team that fully embraced modern baseball analytics and a team that, well, fully embraced modern baseball analytics but had way more money.

The Tampa Bay Rays, a team with the third lowest payroll in the entire league, were expected to be a team that put pitching and defense first, and that’s exactly what they did. Even with Brandon Lowe becoming the team’s breakout star on offense, Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow and the “stable” of arms Tampa Bay bullpen made the Rays the best team in the American League.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, were expected to be one of the greatest teams of all time. The offseason acquisition of Mookie Betts, arguably the second best player in baseball, put them in conversation with the Yankees in the late 1920s and the Big Red Machine for the best offense of all time.

Impressively enough, Mookie Betts was the only superstar on the team that wasn’t homegrown or brought to prominence by the Dodgers. Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor were all reclamation projects, and platoon outfielder A.J. Pollock was signed in free agency, but almost the rest of the Dodgers core, including the pitching staff, was a product of incredible scouting, drafting, developing and extending.

LA finished the season with 43 wins, a pace that would have been good for 116 in a 162 game season, which would tie the regular season record. They even seemed to get better as the year went on, with Cody Bellinger finally coming around toward the end of the season and Corey Seager emerging as the player the Dodgers hoped he’d become when he won Rookie of the Year in 2016.

The Dodgers faced little adversity in the playoffs until the National League Championship Series, going up against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves had arguably the hottest offense in baseball, complete with the likely MVP of the National League in Freddie Freeman.

While the Braves jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, something seemed to click for the Dodgers in the seventh inning of game two. They couldn’t quite overcome a 7-0 deficit, but they picked up some momentum scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and four more in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The next day the Dodgers came out swinging with 11 runs in the first inning, basically ending the game before the Braves ever had a chance to answer. Behind five strong innings from Julio Urías, the Dodgers went on to win game three by a score of 15-3.

Clayton Kershaw fed the narrative that he struggles in the playoffs in game four giving up four runs over five innings on the way to a Dodgers loss. The boys from Chavez Ravine proceeded to play near perfect baseball the rest of the way, riding their bullpen in games five and seven and Walker Buehler in game six. A missile from defending MVP Cody Bellinger in game seven was the deciding factor and the exclamation point on LA’s third NLCS victory in the last four years.

The Dodgers met the Rays in the World Series, who were coming off a game seven themselves against the Houston Astros. Again, the Rays relied on pitching and defense to get through the playoffs, but they brought the hottest player in the playoffs into the World Series in left fielder Randy Arozarena.

When accounting for adjusted salary for his time in the majors and the shortened pandemic season, Arozarena made $90,000 in 2020. For reference, the two highest paid left fielders for the Dodgers, Joc Pederson and A.J. Pollock, made more than $10 million last year. Arozarena out-homered the Pederson-Pollock duo in the 2020 playoffs ten to two.

Unfortunately for Arozarena, he was the only member of the Rays consistently hitting. Just as the Rays had done all season, it was a new guy delivering the big hit every night. Mike Brosseau did it in game five of the American League Divisional Series against the Yankees, Kevin Kiermaier came up with a few clutch hits and Manny Margot played a big role in downing the Astros, but Arozarena seemed to be the only one the Rays could consistently count on.

Game one was proof of that as the Rays were shut down by Clayton Kershaw, who set the tone to repave his playoff legacy. Kershaw went six innings in the first game of the World Series, giving up just one run before exiting. Dodgers MVPs Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts both homered on the way to an 8-3 Dodgers victory.

The Rays evened the series in game two on the back of Brandon Lowe, who hit two home runs, driving in three runs. Rays third baseman Joey Wendle drove in two more on a fourth inning double and another on a sixth inning sacrifice fly. Homers from Chris Taylor, Will Smith and Corey Seager weren’t enough for the Dodgers as Blake Snell and the Rays bullpen held off the LA offense.

Though a score of 6-2 might not seem like a punishing victory for the Dodgers, they owned game three. The Dodgers current ace, Walker Buehler went six innings, striking out ten Rays batters and giving up just one run on a Willy Adames double. The bullpen trio of Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and Kenley Jansen picked up where Buehler left off, giving up one run on a Randy Arozarena home run in the ninth. The Rays sent just 31 hitters to the plate.

Game four is the game that will go down in history. When everyone looks back on the 2020 World Series, they will probably remember games four and six. It might have been the craziest game of the year, and it happened on baseball’s biggest stage.

Two lefties started the game for the Dodgers and Rays, with Julio Urías and Ryan Yarbrough on the hill, respectively. Justin Turner opened the scoring with a home run in the first inning for the second night in a row. Corey Seager homered in the third inning to put the Dodgers up 2-0, a score that would hold for one inning when Randy Arozarena launched his second home run of the World Series and his record-breaking ninth of the postseason.

Heading into the top of the sixth, the Dodgers had a 3-2 lead, which they extended on a double from utility man Kiké Hernández. That set the stage for Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe, who launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to put the Rays on top for the first time in the game.

The Dodgers answered quickly on a Joc Pederson single that scored Corey Seager and Justin Turner, giving the Dodgers a 6-5 lead. The battle was just beginning, as Kevin Kiermaier homered in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 6, only for Corey Seager to give the Dodgers the lead once again with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning.

It was quiet until the bottom of the ninth inning, when the unlikely Rays postseason MVP Randy Arozarena stepped up the the plate with two outs and a man on first base. Arozarena worked a full count from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, eventually drawing a walk to put runners on first and second base. That would bring up the most unlikely of heroes.

Brett Phillips didn’t even make the ALCS roster. He was with the Kansas City Royals before being traded to the Rays on Aug. 27. He originally pinch ran earlier in the game with little expectation of getting a plate appearance, but with the way Rays manager Kevin Cash uses his bench, the Rays were out of options. Phillips was going to bat.

Down to his last strike, the career .202 hitter flicked a ball into center field. Kevin Kiermaier score easily, but a bobble from Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor caused the Rays third base coach to send Arozarena to the plate in an attempt to score the winning run. Arozarena fell down on his way to the plate, which should have ended the inning.

The throw to the plate from Taylor was cut off by Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy, who relayed the ball to LA catcher Will Smith. Smith was unable to hang onto the throw, and the ball rolled to the backstop, allowing Arozarena to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. The long shot hero scored the Rays most valuable postseason player, and the sight of Arozarena pounding on home plate for the eighth run is something that will be burned in the memories of baseball fans forever.

Game five saw Clayton Kershaw take the hill once again to face Rays hard-throwing right hander Tyler Glasnow. Again, Kershaw set out to rewrite his playoff story, going five and two-thirds innings, striking out six and giving up two runs. Joc Pederson and Max Muncy both homered for the Dodgers on their way to a 4-2 victory.

Game six had the Rays up against a wall forcing them to send out their horse, Blake Snell. Randy Arozarena immediately launched a ball into the right field seats off Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin for his record tenth homer of the postseason. Snell was mowing down Dodgers hitters through five and one-thirds innings before giving up a single to catcher Austin Barnes.

The most talked about decision of the World Series came next, with Kevin Cash removing a blistering hot Snell from the game before facing Mookie Betts, who hit .208 against left-handed pitching in 2020. Right-hander Nick Anderson took the hill for the Rays, and Betts proceeded to slap a double down the left field line. A wild pitch with Corey Seager at the plate scored Barnes and advanced Betts to third, then Seager grounded a ball to first base, scoring Betts, who looked like he was out to prove he’s the best baserunner in the game this postseason.

The Dodgers went up 2-1, but for Rays fans and players, it must have felt like the score was 12-1, as the Rays couldn’t get a single thing going the rest of the game against the Dodger bullpen. Betts swatted a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning for an insurance run, and Julio Urías slammed the door over the last two and one-third to give the Dodgers their first World Series victory since 1988.

Corey Seager took home the trophy for World Series MVP, but Clayton Kershaw really stole the spotlight. The eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young winner and 2014 MVP Award winner picked up the first ring of his career in his tenth postseason. He was a lock for the Hall of Fame before 2020, but now he’ll get to make his induction speech wearing at least one World Series ring, and with the litany of young talent and financial resources at the fingertips of Dodgers management, he figures to eye a few more before he calls it a career.

In probably the worst story of the night, third baseman Justin Turner exited the game early because of a positive test for COVID-19. When it was announced at the conclusion of the game, it was a difficult moment for everyone who knew Turner had been with this Dodgers team the entire way. Outside of Kershaw, he might have been the most deserving of a celebration.

He even sent out a tweet thanking everyone for checking in on him and saying he could’t believe he couldn’t be out on the field to celebrate winning the World Series. The story went sour when it appeared that Turner actually did celebrate on the field, presumably placing everybody he came in contact with in danger.

The MLB released a statement saying Turner was adamant about celebrating on the field despite security officials advising him not to leave an isolated space. The story is still developing, but fans obviously voiced their discontent via social media, and it made the success of what MLB called their “bubble” to that point seem moot. While the disappointment for Turner being unable to celebrate a title that he was such a key part of is palpable, it is difficult to justify his actions exposing players, families and fans to COVID-19.

Turner, along with Pedro Baez, Kiké Hernandez, Jake McGee, Joc Pederson, Blake Treinen and Alex Wood, is set to become a free agent after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Dodgers. It is yet to be seen how this will affect him in free agency, or he could return to the Dodgers where he is already one of the organizations most beloved players.

The 2020 baseball season ended about as well as anyone who has lived through 2020 could have predicted, but baseball fans who were worried about 2020’s title feeling cheap seem to have come around to the idea that this title was equally or more trying to achieve. 60 games or 162 games, the 2020 Dodgers will go down in history.

LaMelo Ball illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

LaMelo Ball Joins PUMA

By Justin Lyons

LaMelo Ball, top 2020 NBA Draft prospect and younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, signed with the sports company PUMA for a long-term sponsorship deal.

Ball said he’s excited to join the PUMA family as he kicks off his basketball career.

“I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because PUMA will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100-percent authentic whether that’s playing basketball or showing off my personal style, and that’s what I want to do with PUMA,” Ball said.

The 6-foot-7-inch guard with elite passing skills opted out of college basketball in favor of professional contracts in Lithuania and Australia.

Adam Petrick, the global director of brand and marketing at PUMA, said Ball is a natural fit for PUMA because of his personal style and his “physical gifts and dynamic play on the court.”

“We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes, and at just 19 years old, we can’t wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball,” Petrick said.

The first collaboration between the young phenom and PUMA will come in the form of a PUMA x LaMelo Ball T-shirt and hoodie set. The set will release Nov. 18, the same day as the 2020 NBA Draft where Ball is expected to go in the top five.

PUMA also intends to blur lines between sports, culture, music and fashion with its approach to the collaboration with Ball, which will likely be seen in the form of shirts, shoes and other apparel.

The partnership will follow PUMA’s “Not From Here” concept, something Ball cooked up himself to represent his unique attitude.

“I don’t know what normal is. I personally chose a different path to achieve my success because that defines who I am,” Ball said. “I know some people think I am mysterious or ‘not from here,’ and I might have to agree. I am someone who likes to be different and consider myself to be one of one. That’s the message I want to share in my upcoming projects with PUMA.”

Ball and PUMA will also join forces to host basketball camps, clothing donations, court refurbishments and more to support programs that encourage young athletes stay active.

With names like RJ Barrett, Kyle Kuzma and Deandre Ayton highlighting the list, Ball is the latest in a line of young talent to join PUMA.

In Ball’s 2019-2020 season as a member of the Illawarra Hawks, he played just 12 games before injuring himself during practice and deciding to leave for the NBA Draft. He averaged 17 points, 6.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft after winning the NBA Draft Lottery. The Timberwolves had a 14% chance at landing the first pick, tied for the best odds with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the team holding the worst record in the league.

With the Timberwolves trading for star guard D’Angelo Russell last season, mock drafts appear to have Minnesota targeting Anthony Edwards, the wing player out of Georgia.

Without a consensus first pick, there is also speculation that Minnesota could trade out of the first pick, opening an opportunity for a team looking for a point guard with passing abilities like Ball’s.

It all remains to be seen the night of the Draft Nov. 18, where one thing is for sure: LaMelo Ball’s name will be called.