Nerlens Noel is a 76er with something to prove. The 6-foot-11 center is determined to show the top five teams in June's NBA draft - the Cavaliers Magic Wizards Bobcats and Suns - they made a mistake by not selecting him. "It drives me to be the great player I want to be" said Noel who was selected sixth by the Pelicans before being traded to the Sixers. "And being here in Philadelphia I'm going to keep working hard and just staying focused. "That's something that's going to make the chip on my shoulder grow that much bigger. Just push me." By now most NBA fans know that Noel was expected to go first in the draft. But he dropped to sixth after suffering a season-ending tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during his only season at Kentucky. Noel isn't expected to play until December at the earliest. The 19-year-old said Sixers fans will find out that he's a hard worker once he hits the court. "I was raised by my mom [Dorcina] you know just a real hardworking lady" he said "and I took after her work ethic." Noel said other family members also shaped him with their values. "So I'm just a hard-nosed kid" he said. He averaged 10.5 points 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocked shots while shooting 59 percent from the field in 24 games. He had a school-record 12 blocks against Mississippi.
Sixers' Noel motivated by 5 teams' draft snub
Philly.com | Jul 25