Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball (L), shown March 18, 2021, was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
June 16 (UPI) -- Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball was named the NBA's Rookie of the Year on Wednesday night.
Ball topped fellow finalists Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Sacramento Kings' Tyrese Haliburton to win the award, which was voted on by a global panel of 100 writers and broadcasters who cover the league.
Ball, who secured 84 first-place votes and 465 total points, is the third player in Hornets history to win ROTY honors, joining Emeka Okafor and Larry Johnson. Edwards finished second in voting with 15 first-place votes and 309 total points.
The 19-year-old Ball briefly played in Lithuania and Australia before he was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft by the Hornets. He averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game for Charlotte this season.
Despite missing 21 games because of a fractured wrist, Ball paced all rookies in assists and steals. Prior to the injury, he became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double in just his 10th career game against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 9.
Edwards, meanwhile, started slower out of the gate after being taken with the top pick by the Timberwolves. But as the season progressed, he took significant steps forward, averaging 23.8 points per game after the All-Star break and improving his efficiency across the board.
Haliburton, who slipped to 12th in the draft, averaged 13 points and 5.3 assists while shooting over 40% from 3-point range. He finished third in balloting with 114 total points.
This was the last of the six major individual awards to be handed out this off-season. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was named MVP, while Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Gobert's teammate, Jordan Clarkson, claimed the Sixth Man of the Year award, and New York Knicks forward Julius Randle was named Most Improved Player. Randle's head coach, Tom Thibodeau, won his second Coach of the Year award.
NBA Rookie of the Year voting results:
1. LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets) - 465 points
2. Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves) - 309 points
3. Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento Kings) - 114 points
4. Saddiq Bey (Detroit Pistons) - 3 points