Illawarra Hawks coach Matt Flinn is excited for what the future holds for star guard LaMelo Ball, after his historic performance on Monday night against Cairns Taipans.
The 18-year-old US sensation became the youngest player in NBL history to record a triple-double (32 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists), as his Hawks downed the Taipans 114-106 in overtime, at the WIN Entertainment Centre.
"Everyone saw what he's capable of [against Cairns] - he just impacts the game in so many ways," Flinn said.
"There's plenty of good players in this league but it's the great ones that have the ability to get the best out of their teammates, which is what Lamelo is doing - it's exciting to be a part of his journey."
While Flinn was wrapped Ball's offensive performance, it was a number of qualities that impressed him more.
"LaMelo's growth as a leader but also on the defensive end has been phenomenal," he said.
"He's a completely different player to when he arrived here and he's only going to get better the more time he spends on court.
"He impresses me more each time he steps on the court - he's a special talent and the sky is the limit."
Rival coach Mike Kelly also had high praise for the potential NBA draft lottery selection.
"I thought LaMelo was fantastic - the way he controlled the tempo was far beyond his years," Kelly said.
"He made plenty of great passes and hit big shots when the Hawks needed him to - he was the difference-maker for them."
Ball, who is now averaging 16.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists on the season, and his Hawks will look to record their fourth win of the season on Saturday when they travel to New Zealand, while Cairns, now 4-7 on the season, host Melbourne United on Friday.