Noel in a Kentucky Wildcats game in 2012
|No. 4 – Philadelphia 76ers|
|Position||Center / Power forward|
April 10, 1994 |
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (211 cm)|
|Listed weight||228 lb (103 kg)|
|High school||Everett (Everett, Massachusetts)
Tilton School (Tilton, New Hampshire)
|NBA draft||2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the New Orleans Pelicans|
|Pro playing career||2013–present|
|Career highlights and awards|
Nerlens Noel (born April 10, 1994) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His collegiate basketball career ended in his first season with a tear of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at the University of Kentucky. Noel was drafted with the 6th pick of the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. On Friday July 12, 2013, the New Orleans Pelicans traded Noel and their 2014 first round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Jrue Holiday and the 76ers 42nd pick in the 2013 draft, Pierre Jackson. This move was agreed to on the night of the 2013 NBA Draft.
Noel, a son of Haitian immigrants to the U.S., played one season at the University of Kentucky. He plays center and power forward, and was one of the top high school basketball players in the class of 2012. He is known for his trademark hi-top fade hairstyle.
High school career
Noel spent his first two years of high school at Everett High School. After his sophomore year, he transferred to Tilton. Noel was originally a part of the class of 2013, but reclassified to the 2012 college recruiting class. He was rated as the #1 player in the class of 2012 by ESPN and Scout.com, and the #2 player by SLAM. Noel was selected to play in the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit and the 2012 Jordan Brand Classic. Noel played high school basketball at the Tilton School in Tilton, New Hampshire.
Noel decided in April 2012 that he would be going to the University of Kentucky to play NCAA Division I basketball. He made his verbal commitment by revealing the UK logo shaved in the back of his head on national television. Since Noel was well known for his elite shot blocking abilities, fans and the media had high expectations for him to fill the shoes of Anthony Davis, who had just led the Kentucky Wildcats to a national championship in the previous season, was the 2011–2012 National Player of the Year in the NCAA, set a Kentucky and NCAA freshman single-season block record with 186.
In his third game on November 16, 2012, he accumulated 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, and 4 steals against Lafayette. On January 12, 2013, although Kentucky lost the game against Texas A&M, Noel recorded 15 points, 11 rebounds, 7 blocks, 6 assists, and 4 steals.
On January 29, 2013, Noel set the UK single-game record with 12 blocks in an 87–74 team victory over #16 Ole Miss. Five of the blocks happened while Noel had four personal fouls, and two of them were slam dunk attempts. The UK school record was previously nine blocks, set by Sam Bowie in 1981 and was then tied by Andre Riddick in 1993. Although he recorded only two points, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said in the post-game press conference that "[Noel] was the difference in the game" and that he is "an incredible defensive presence." Ole Miss senior forward Murphy Holloway added that he believes Nerlens Noel is the "best shot blocker [he has] played against," including Anthony Davis.
On February 12, 2013, in a game against the Florida Gators, Noel tore the ACL in his left knee after blocking a Florida lay-up, forcing him to sit out the remainder of the season. Before his injury, it was projected that he would be the 1st overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Despite his injury, Noel decided to declare for the 2013 draft on April 15, 2013. It is also said by scouts that his draft stock will not be badly affected, if at all, by declaring for this year.
Noel was honored with many awards, including SEC Freshman Of The Year, SEC Defensive Player Of The Year, SEC First Team, SEC All Fresman Team, SEC Community Service Team. In addition to earning All-SEC first team honors by the league’s coaches, Noel earned first-team honors from the Associated Press. The AP has honored at least one UK freshman on the first team in four-consecutive seasons. Cousins and Wall both claimed the honor in 2010. Terrence Jones, was an honorable mention AP selection in 2011, and both Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist were honored a season ago. Noel was also named a Freshman All-American by Sporting News, and USBWA.
The Wildcats’ 6-foot-11 center was joined by UNLV Runnin' Rebels’s Anthony Bennett, UCLA Bruins’s Shabazz Muhammad, Oklahoma State Cowboys’s Marcus Smart and Kansas Jayhawks's Ben McLemore on the Freshman All-America team. He was the fifth UK player under coach John Calipari to earn the honor from the USBWA, including John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Noel entered the draft after playing one season at the University of Kentucky and was projected to be one of the top draft picks of the 2013 NBA draft. He was invited to sit in the "green room", a room of the projected top 10–15 collegiate basketball players, during the draft. Noel was drafted number 6 overall to the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2013 NBA Draft. While it was discussed in great detail as early as draft night, it wasn't until July 12, 2013 where the New Orleans Pelicans would end up trading Noel and the Pelicans' 2014 first-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday and the rights to Pierre Jackson. Noel, along with Michael Carter-Williams, were both officially signed by the 76ers on September 24, 2013. He is expected to be out for the entire 2013–14 season as he recovers from knee surgery.
- Thamel, Pete (March 10, 2012) Everybody Wants a Piece of Nerlens Noel. New York Times
- "Nike Hoop Summit Player Profile: Nerlens Noel". usabasketball.com. March 19, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- "Nerlens Noel is Now a Senior, Reclassifies to 2012 Class". SLAM Online. February 2, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- "ESPNU 100 – Class of 2012". ESPN. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- "Scout.com Basketball Rankings – 2012". Scout.com. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- "SLAM Fresh 50 – 2012". SLAM Online. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- "US Rosters Announced for 2012 Nike Hoop Summit". SLAM Online. March 9, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- Jordan, Jason (March 14, 2012). "Noel added to Jordan Classic roster". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- Nerlens Noel's Tilton School 11–12 Basketball Profile. MaxPreps.com. Retrieved on March 27, 2013.
- Paul Biancardi (April 11, 2012). "Nerlens Noel chooses Kentucky". ESPN. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- "Nerlens Noel hauls in additional postseason accolades". wildcatworld.com. March 26, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Sixers Acquire Rights to Nerlens Noel and a 2014 First-round Pick in Trade With New Orleans
- Sixers Sign Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams
- Nerlens Noel to miss season
- "Nerlens Noel’s Hard Rehab Road to Next Season".