Nerlens Noel is one of the most promising players in the NBA. The experienced and talented player plays both as center and power forward and was already one of the top basketball players in high school. At the end of his high school career, he was ranked number one in the 2012 class by both ESPN and Scout.com. He later went to the University of Kentucky where he played basketball in the NCAA Division I. Unfortunately his college career ended after his first season due to a torn ACL in his left knee.
In 2013 he signed up for the NBA Draft and was awarded 6th place by the New Orleans Pelicans. On the night of the draft, he was to be transferred to the Philadelphia 76ers. After spending four full seasons with the 76ers, he was transferred to the Dallas Mavericks where he spent a season before signing a two-year contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2018.
Nerlens was born in Malden, Massachusetts, on April 16, 1994, the daughter of Dorcina and Yonel Noel. He started with soccer and played as a quarterback, but as a freshman at Everett High School, he took over the receiver position to maximize both his size and bounce.
He grew taller and taller, and in his sophomore year, he decided to give up soccer and find a career option in basketball because his size could be better utilized there. After his sophomore year at Everett High School, he moved to the Tilton School in Tilton, New Hampshire, where he fully embarked on his basketball career.
Noel was originally scheduled to graduate in 2013, but was reclassified and ended one year earlier, in 2012. As a senior, he averaged 3.9 blocks, 7.2 rebounds, and 12.6 points and was voted number one in the country by both Scout.com and ESPN. He was also rated No. 2 by SLAM and named one of the best shot blockers by the New York Times.
He was selected for both the Nike Hoop Summit and the Jordan Brand Classics. Besides his high school career, young Noel also played AAU basketball. At the end of his high school career, Nerlens Noel chose the University of Kentucky after considering other offers from other schools. The media and fans alike expected a lot from the young player because of his shot-blocking abilities; in fact, it was expected that he would replace Anthony Davis, who had led the Wildcats to a national championship the previous season.
Things didn’t go as expected, however, as Noel’s stay with the Wildcats ended prematurely (just one season) after he tore a cruciate ligament in his left knee, but that wasn’t until he was ranked #1 overall by several NBA analysts in the 2013 NBA Draft and received several honors and awards. His numerous awards and honors include SEC Defensive Player of the Year, SEC Freshman of the Year Award, SEC All-Freshman Team, First Team AP Honors.
Despite his torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Noel still decided to test his limits by signing up for the NBA draft. Although he was not the first choice, as several analysts had predicted, Noel was among the first selections that year. The New Orleans Pelicans voted him 6th.
On the night of the draft, however, he was sold to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Pierre Jackson’s draft rights and for the guard Jrue Holiday. Nerlens Noel underwent knee surgery that took a full season to heal, so he missed a full season when he recovered. He made his first appearance in the NBA in October 2014 in a game against the Indiana Pacers. Although the game ended in defeat, Noel scored six points in the 2 of 11 shootouts, with ten rebounds and three blocks.
After spending four full seasons with the 76ers, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks against Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a 2017 selection for the first round. In early 2018, Noel was suspended for five games without pay for violating the rules of the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program. After spending a season with the Mavericks, he signed a two-year contract with Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2018.
Nerlens Noel’s Family
Noel’s parents immigrated from Haiti to Massachusetts in 1990, four years before his birth. 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 a bad thing to say that the Noel family is a family of athletes, because every child in the family does one or the other sport. Nerlens’ older brothers played college soccer in Division I; while Jim played for Boston College, Rodman did the same for North Carolina State. Later, Jim made the roster for the Seattle Seahawks’ 2013 mini-camp. He is currently a scouting assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rodman, on the other hand, would deserve an invitation to the Cleveland Browns’ rookie camp. He currently works at a hospital in Delaware, where he helps uninsured patients apply for medical care. Her little sister Nashdah is a senior forward at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts.
Height, Weight, And Body Stats
The NBA star stands at a height of 6 ft 9 in (2.11 m) and weighs 103 kg (227 pounds), which is perfect for its size. The wingspan of Nerlens Noel is 2.23 m.