Ballard is opening more eyes

Douglas Benton, NCP Editor
NorCal Preps

2018 guard Junior Ballard was a hidden secret out of the Central Valley in leading Lathrop to its first winning season in school history, according to the Stockton Record. After a spring with California United, Ballard is a secret no more with offers from Northern Colorado, Sacramento State and Pacific.

Now at Modesto Christian, Ballard figures to be a key piece for what will be one of the top teams in Northern California after a down year by their standards in 2016-2017.

Returning to Ballard’s game, he is a 6-foot-3 scoring guard who can line up at either guard spot depending on the other personnel and system. He is most effective off the ball when he can work off screens, receive the ball and get downhill quickly to attack the rim. He has a good first step and strong handles in traffic.

Ballard is a solid outside shooter, though he can be streaky. He was 39 percent from beyond the arc as a junior. He also has good feel on a pull-up jumper to make him more dangerous off the bounce.

He is a solid defender that can line up against the small, quicker guard and more traditional shooting guards with some size.

Upcoming on the development curve is becoming a more impactful defender and upping his rebounding and playmaking production.

As a junior, he averaged 21 points, three rebounds and almost two assists per game.

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