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Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel
Noel in a Kentucky Wildcats game in 2012
No. 4 – Philadelphia 76ers
Position Center / Power forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1994-04-10) April 10, 1994 (age 21)
Malden, Massachusetts
Nationality American
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Career information
High school Everett (Everett, Massachusetts)
Tilton School (Tilton, New Hampshire)
College Kentucky (2012–2013)
NBA draft 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall
Selected by the New Orleans Pelicans
Pro career 2013–present
Career history
2013–present Philadelphia 76ers
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

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 sixth overall pick of the first round in the 2013 NBA draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. On July 12, 2013, the 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.

Noel, a son of Haitian immigrants to the United States, 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.[1]

High school career

Noel spent his first two years of high school at Everett High School. After his sophomore year, he transferred to Tilton School in Tilton, New Hampshire.[2][3] Noel was originally a part of the class of 2013, but reclassified to the 2012 college recruiting class.[4] He was rated as the #1 player in the class of 2012 by ESPN[5] and,[6] and the #2 player by SLAM.[7] Noel was selected to play in the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit[8] and the 2012 Jordan Brand Classic.[9] In addition to his high school career, Noel also played AAU basketball on the same team as future Sixers teammate Michael Carter-Williams.[10] Shortly before his high school graduation, an article in the New York Times described Noel as being hailed as one of the best shot blockers of his generation, although he was also described as having unrefined offensive skills.[2]

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Nerlens Noel
Everett, Mass The Tilton School Script error: No such module "convert". Script error: No such module "convert". Apr 11, 2012 
Scout:75px   Rivals:75px   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 98

College career

After deliberating among several elite college basketball programs,[2] 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.[11] 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, and 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.

Noel was honored with many awards, including SEC Freshman Of The Year, SEC Defensive Player Of The Year, SEC First Team, SEC All Freshman 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, continuing a four-year streak of UK players earning first-team AP honors.

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, joining John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.[12]

College statistics

2012–13 Kentucky 24 24 31.9 .590 .000 .529 9.5 1.6 2.1 4.4 10.5
Career 24 24 31.9 .590 .000 .529 9.5 1.6 2.1 4.4 10.5

Professional career

NBA draft

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, with many considering Noel the favorite to be picked first in the draft.[13][14] 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 selected with the sixth overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Philadelphia 76ers (2013–present)

2013–14 season

On July 12, 2013, Noel's rights were traded by the Pelicans, along with a 2014 first round pick, to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for guard Jrue Holiday and the draft rights to Pierre Jackson.[15][16] On September 24, 2013, he signed with the 76ers.[17] Although the 76ers' original plan was to have Noel play during the 2013–14 season, Noel missed the entire season as he recovered from knee surgery.[18][19]

2014–15 season

In July 2014, Noel joined the Philadelphia 76ers for the 2014 NBA Summer League.[20] In game one of the 76ers' Orlando Summer League schedule, Noel played his first minutes of professional basketball, scoring a game-high 19 points in the 76ers' 77-83 loss to the Orlando Magic.[21]

On October 29, 2014, Noel made his long-awaited NBA debut in the 76ers' 91-103 loss to the Indiana Pacers. In just under 35 minutes of action as a starter, he recorded 6 points on 2-of-11 shooting along with 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.[22] Two days later, the 76ers exercised their third-year team option on Noel's rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2015–16 season.[23] Later that day, he recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists and 1 steal in the 76ers' 81-93 loss to Milwaukee Bucks.[24] On January 30, 2015, he recorded 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and a then career-high 6 blocks, in a 103-94 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.[25]

Participating in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge on February 13, Noel recorded 4 points and 4 rebounds as Team USA were defeated by Team World, 112-121.[26] On February 20, Noel recorded 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and a career-high 9 blocks in a 95-106 loss to the Indiana Pacers.[27] A week later against Washington, Noel became just the third 76ers' rookie to record 100 blocks in a season.[28]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

2014–15 Philadelphia 75 71 30.8 .462 .000 .609 8.1 1.7 1.8 1.9 9.9
Career 75 71 30.8 .462 .000 .609 8.1 1.7 1.8 1.9 9.9

Personal life

Noel's parents migrated from Haiti in 1990.[2] He has two older brothers and one younger sister; both of Noel's older brothers played for Division I college football programs.[29]

As a youth playing basketball with his older brothers, Noel was often picked on as they'd shove him, foul him, and never give him the ball. His brothers soon had a passion for football as Jim played for Boston College, and Rodman plays for the Cleveland Browns.[29]


  1. "Nike Hoop Summit Player Profile: Nerlens Noel". March 19, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Thamel, Pete (March 10, 2012) Everybody Wants a Piece of Nerlens Noel. New York Times
  3. Nerlens Noel's Tilton School 11–12 Basketball Profile. Retrieved on March 27, 2013.
  4. "Nerlens Noel is Now a Senior, Reclassifies to 2012 Class". SLAM Online. February 2, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  5. "ESPNU 100 – Class of 2012". ESPN. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  6. " Basketball Rankings – 2012". Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  7. "SLAM Fresh 50 – 2012". SLAM Online. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  8. "US Rosters Announced for 2012 Nike Hoop Summit". SLAM Online. March 9, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  9. Jordan, Jason (March 14, 2012). "Noel added to Jordan Classic roster". Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  10. Feldman, Dan (28 June 2013). "Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams team back up with 76ers". NBCSports. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  11. Paul Biancardi (April 11, 2012). "Nerlens Noel chooses Kentucky". ESPN. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  12. "Nerlens Noel hauls in additional postseason accolades". March 26, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  13. Smith, Chris (28 June 2013). "Nerlens Noel's NBA Draft Slide Will Cost Him $10 Million". Forbes. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  14. Deveney, Sean (21 May 2013). "Draft watch: Nerlens Noel 'is best player in the draft,' scout says". Sporting News. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  15. Associated Press (July 12, 2013). "Nerlens Noel-Jrue Holiday deal done". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  16. "Sixers Acquire Rights to Nerlens Noel and a 2014 First-round Pick in Trade With New Orleans". (Press release). Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 12, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  17. "Sixers Sign Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams". (Press release). Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. September 24, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  18. Windhorst, Brian (October 22, 2013). "Nerlens Noel to miss season". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  19. "Nerlens Noel's Hard Rehab Road to Next Season". November 11, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  20. "Sixers Announce Orlando Pro Summer League Camp Invitees". (Press release). Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  21. "OPSL: Magic 83, Sixers 77". (Turner Sports Interactive, Inc.). July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  22. Marot, Michael (October 29, 2014). "Hibbert helps Pacers pull away from 76ers 103-91". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  23. "Sixers Exercise Team Options On Three Players". (Press release). Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. October 31, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  24. Armas, Genaro (October 31, 2014). "Mayo scores 25, Bucks beat Sixers 93-81". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  25. Carter-Williams leads 76ers past Timberwolves 103-94
  26. World at USA – February 13, 2015
  27. Stuckey scores 30 off bench, Pacers beat Sixers 106-95
  28. Nerlens Noel leads 76ers past Wizards, 89-81
  29. 29.0 29.1 Tipton, Jerry (26 December 2012). "Big brothers, both Division I football players, instilled toughness in Kentucky's Noel". Retrieved 30 May 2014. 

External links