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Mother sues NBA star LaMelo Ball for allegedly hitting son with car

By Ben Morse, CNN

(CNN) — A mother is suing LaMelo Ball and his team, the Charlotte Hornets, after the 22-year-old NBA star allegedly hit her son with his car.

The lawsuit was filed in the County Superior Court in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, by Tamaria McRae, the mother of Angell Joseph.

McRae and Joseph attended a fan event at the Hornets’ Spectrum Center on October 7 last year, the lawsuit detailed, waiting outside the employee’s entrance to the facility in the hope of getting a signature from the basketball star, who the youngster considered a “hero.”

The lawsuit alleges that Ball’s car stopped at a traffic light by the entrance, when fans moved closer to the player’s vehicle to catch a glimpse of him.

Ball “looked directly” into Joseph’s face while he was stood beside his car before speeding away when the light changed, according to the lawsuit.

Ball is said to have “operated his vehicle in grossly negligent and reckless manner in that he accelerated his vehicle forward suddenly and without warning and struck” Joseph, “severely injuring him.”

The lawsuit says that Joseph sustained severe and painful injuries,” which caused him “great physical pain and mental anguish.”

It also says that some of his injuries may be of “permanent nature” and he may “undergo great physical pain and mental anguish for the rest of his life.” McRae is said to have to spend “large sums of money for medical attention” for Joseph.

CNN has reached out to the Hornets and Ball’s representatives for comment.

Ball has not made any public statements about the incident.

According to a police report filed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and obtained by CNN, a 12-year-old boy suffered minor injuries described as “bruises/scratches” on October 7, 2023. He received treatment at Atrium Health-Mercy in Charlotte before being released.

The report states that a “non-criminal incident happened at 333 East Trade Street,” the address of the Hornets’ Spectrum Center – but the report does not go into detail regarding what happened.

Ball was not named on the police report.

McRae told CNN affiliate WSOC that she didn’t “recognize who my child was because, like depression, not being able to go outside and play.”

“When you see your children hurt, it hurts you,” McRae told WSOC. “It’s been rough. It’s been real rough. I mean like I’m a strong person. This broke me. This right here, it really did.”

CNN has reached out to McRae’s lawyer for comment.

The lawsuit also alleges the Hornets failed to “provide adequate security and pedestrian control measures in the Spectrum Center employee exit.”

It adds that the team “failed to properly train its employees on how to manage crowds and keep pedestrians safe when the players are exiting the Spectrum Center” as well as failing to “establish safe protocols.”

The lawsuit says the family is asking for a sum of over $25,000 in compensatory damages from both Ball and the Hornets.

Ball was drafted by the Hornets with the third overall pick of the 2020 draft.

He averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 8 rebounds a game last season.

The guard, who was voted as an All-Star in 2022, has played in 58 games over the past two seasons as he deals with ankle injuries.

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