LaMelo Ball in Boston

Future NBA great LaMelo Ball, on left, poses for a selfie with North Andover native Paul Caron, a former basketball player at Central Catholic. Caron works in Boston and noticed LaMelo working out at the gym at the Ritz Hotel.

A former local basketball player at Central Catholic ('86), Paul Caron, has always kept the sport near and dear to his heart.

The North Andover native considers himself a basketball junkie, following college and pro basketball, while keeping tabs on the Merrimack Valley Conference and his alma mater.

So when he Caron, who works for the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and serves on the city's Commission of Disability Advisory Board, and lives in the city, saw Ball at the Ritz hotel gym working out.

"I saw him and said, 'Hi' and we chatted a bit," said Caron, who had a standout year at Northfield Mount Herman after graduating from Central. "He was really nice, a happy kid. He said he was headed to a private workout at the Celtics facility (in Brighton)."

Ball will be available in the NBA Draft, which has been moved to Nov. 18. Ball is expected to be chosen among the first three picks overall.

Coincidentally, the California resident visited Merrimack College watching a player on the opposing Long Island U-Brooklyn, his friend guard Jermaine Jackson Jr. The duo spent time training together earlier this year at the SPIRE Institute, where Jackson’s dad served as head coach.

Trending Video

Recommended for you