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Nerlens Noel is one of the most promising players in the NBA. The skilled and talented player plays both as a center and a power forward and was one of the top basketball players back in high school. At the end of his high school career, both ESPN and Scout.com rated him as the #1 player in the class of 2012. He would later attend the University of Kentucky where he played NCAA Division I basketball. Unfortunately, his collegiate career ended after his first season due to a torn ACL in his left knee.
In 2013, he entered for the NBA Draft and was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans with the 6th overall pick. On the night of the draft, he would be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. After spending four full seasons with the 76ers, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks where he spent one season before signing a two-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2018.
Nerlens was born on the 16th of April 1994 to Malden, Massachusetts to Dorcina and Yonel Noel. He started off playing football and played as a quarterback but as a freshman at Everett High School, he took on the receiver position to maximize both his height and leaping ability.
He kept increasing in height and by his second year, he decided to quit football and find a career option in basketball as his height would be put to better use there. After his second year at Everett High School, he transferred to Tilton School, Tilton, New Hampshire, where he kicked off his basketball career in full.
Noel was originally supposed to graduate in 2013 but reclassified and finished in 2012, a year earlier. As a senior, he made an average of 3.9 blocks, 7.2 rebounds, and 12.6 points and was rated No. 1 in the entire nation by both Scout.com and ESPN. He was also rated No. 2 by SLAM and named as one of the best shot blockers by New York Times.
He was picked to play at the Nike Hoop Summit as well as at the Jordan Brand Classics. Asides his high school career, the young Noel also played AAU basketball. At the end of his high school career, Nerlens Noel decided to go with the University of Kentucky after weighing other offers from other schools. Due to his shot blocking abilities, both the media and fans expected a lot from the young player; in fact, the expectation was that he would replace Anthony Davis who had led the Wildcats to a national championship the previous season.
Things however, didn’t work out as expected as Noel’s stay with the Wildcats ended prematurely (just one season) after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee but that was not before he was ranked 1st overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by several NBA analysts, and received several honors and accolades. His many awards and honors include the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, SEC Freshman of the Year award, SEC All-Freshman Team, first-team AP honors among others.
Despite his torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Noel still decided to test his limits by declaring for the NBA draft. Although he was not the 1st pick as several analysts had projected, Noel was among the top selection that year. The New Orleans Pelicans selected him as the 6th overall pick.
However, on the night of the draft, he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Pierre Jackson’s draft rights and for guard . Nerlens Noel underwent a knee surgery which took an entire season to heal, thus, he missed an entire season as he recovered. His first NBA appearance was in October 2014, in a game against The Indiana Pacers. Although the game ended in a loss, Noel scored six points on 2-of-11 shooting, with ten rebounds and three blocks.
After spending four full seasons with the 76ers, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a 2017 1st round pick. In early 2018, Noel was banned for five games without pay for violating the rules of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. After spending one season with the Mavericks, he signed a two-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2018.
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Nerlens Noel’s Family
Noel’s parents immigrated to Massachusetts from Haiti in 1990, that was four years before he was born. He is the third of his parents’ four children. The power forward has two older brothers, Jim and Rodman, and a younger sister, Nashdah.
It wouldn’t be bad at all to say that the Noel family as an athletic family because every child in the family is involved in one form of sports or the other. Nerlens older brothers played Division I college footbal; while Jim played for Boston College, Rodman did the same for North Carolina State. Jim later made it to the Seattle Seahawks’ 2013 rookie minicamp roster. He is currently with the Kansas City Chiefs as a scouting assistant.
Rodman on the other hand, would earn an invite to the Cleveland Browns rookie camp. He currently works at a hospital system in Delaware, where he helps uninsured patients apply for medical assistance. Their kid sister, Nashdah is a senior forward at Tabor Academy, Marion, Massachusetts.
Height, Weight And Body Stats
The NBA star stands at a height of 6 ft 9 in (2.11 m) with a weight of 103 kg (227 pounds) which is just perfect for his height. Nerlens Noel’s wingspan measures 2.23 m.