Nike Hoop Summit Player Profile: Nerlens Noel
Known for his defensive presence on the court and a high-top fade hair style off the court, Nerlens Noel has experts predicting his draft status and professional endorsement deals before he even has chosen a college or university for next season.
One of three players on the USA Nike Hoop Summit Team who remain undecided about where they will attend college in 2012-13, the 6í11Ē forward/center made news this past weekend when he narrowed his list to Georgetown, Kentucky and Syracuse.
Before he arrives in Portland, Ore., to take on the World Select Team in the 15th Annual Nike Hoop Summit on April 7, USA Basketball talked with Noel in our Nike Hoop Summit Player Profile.
What do you expect in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit?
I actually havenít seen the game. Iím just going into it expecting a good game from the World Team.
What do you think of international rules?
I have played using international rules before. Itís tough to adjust to it, especially the goaltending rule where you can hit the ball off of the rim. That takes time to get used to, but itís not a bad rule to play by.
What factors will help you decide what college or university youíd like to attend?
I want to play for a coaching staff that I can trust and that I know will be able to develop me and prepare me for the next level.
Do you have a favorite training routine or drill?
No, I really donít have a favorite.
What is your least favorite training routine or drill?
My least favorite is probably running suicides (lines).
Where is the most room for improvement in your game?
Basically, I need to shoot the ball at a more consistent rate and get stronger.
Who do you most like to be compared to?
I like the comparison to Bill Russell. He was a great legend of the game. And he won multiple championships in Boston, and thatís where Iím from. So, that comparison means a lot to me.
What helps you stay motivated?
What helps me stay motivated is to reach for my dream and to be successful when I get there Ė just knowing that I havenít made it yet. Especially for my family, my mom, everything she has done for me, her struggle. Thatís just all of my motivation.
How did you finish your high school season?
We finished last week, and we lost in the playoffs. Obviously, I wasnít happy ending the season with a loss. It feels good to close that chapter in my life and to prepare for the next steps. Iím only focusing on school and my recruiting. My decision is the only thing I have left to look forward to until graduation. Thatís kind of a relief.
You have to brothers playing college football. Was football ever in your future?
Yeah, it was. I grew up playing football. I played quarterback, running back, safety, corner back; I loved playing football. But I had a little more luck in basketball, and I ended up just having a few growth spurts and I didnít think football was the sport for me. I played football my whole life up to my sophomore year. My sophomore year was my last season. I definitely miss it, and sometimes when Iím back home I play street football with some of my friends like we did in the old days when we were younger.