All eyes of the basketball universe will be on Ballarat when it hosts global sensation LaMelo Ball in what could be his first game on Australian soil.
The teenage super talent, and social media personality will suit-up for the Illawarra Hawks in an NBL exhibition match against Melbourne United at the new Ballarat Sports Event Centre on September 13.
Ball made worldwide headlines last month by announcing his intention to play with the Hawks until he is eligible to enter the NBA draft.
The announcement sent shockwaves through the Australian basketball landscape, which has become a popular destination for American top-flight prospects to develop their games.
WATCH: LEMELO BALL ANNOUNCES HIS DECISION
In 2016 top American high school player Terrance Ferguson played for the Adelaide 36ers before going onto to be drafted in the NBA. Earlier this year top-10 NBA draft prospect RJ Hampton opted to forgo the US collegiate system to sign with the New Zealand Breakers for the upcoming NBL season.
But Ball makes a vastly bigger splash. While just as talented if not more so than Ferguson and Hampton, Ball boasts a social media following of over 4.5 million followers. He is the star of a family reality TV show and his older brother Lonzo is an NBA headliner.
Simply put, he is a teenage megastar. His announcement had an estimated reach of 1.6 billion. Billion. People.
Ballarat Miners head coach Brendan Joyce, who coached the Illawarra Hawks to a championship in 2001, put the signing into perspective when he told The Courier he could not remember a time when the NBL got this much attention.
"We were respected among coaches and colleges, but we never had this type of exposure," he said.
"Now everybody knows about the league, so credit to the NBL, it's just fantastic that the NBL is being recognised around the world."
Ball will join a star-studded roster in Illawarra which also includes Josh Boone and 10-year NBA veteran Aaron Brooks.
They will face-off against Melbourne United fan favourites Mitch McCarron and David Barlow, along with two superstar imports in Melo Trimble and Shawn Long.
Joyce said he expected Ball and Brooks to make a significant contribution to the Hawks' success.
"It's going to be a big jump for Ball, there is a big difference between playing against kids as opposed to adults," said Joyce.
"But they're two big signings and I think they'll bring people through the gates."
Basketball Ballarat chief executive officer Peter Eddy said the match would be first major event to christen the new Ballarat Sports Event Centre.
He said he expected a sell-out.
Tickets are on sale now, details can be found at the Ballarat Basketball and Melbourne United websites.