We knew the announcement was coming, it was just about when and how. Kentucky’s talented but injured center Nerlens Noel will now allow himself to rehab his torn ACL on someone else’s dime, and enter the 2013 NBA Draft according to USA Today.
“I have loved my time at Kentucky, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,” Noel said. “I’ve learned so much here at UK and am thankful for Coach [John] Calipari, the staff and my teammates for all of their support. I especially appreciate the Big Blue Nation and all of the support, prayers and well-wishes I’ve received from them during my rehab and decision-making process. I’ll always be a Wildcat.”
The 6-foot-11 big man who gain as much praise for his “kid and play” flat top as he did for his relentless play, is still considered the #1 pick in the draft.
John Calipari released a statement on Noel.
“I support Nerlens’ decision to enter his name in the draft and am excited for him and his future,” Calipari said. “The hard work and will to win he showed on the floor this year and the dedication and attitude he has shown in his rehab will only be a reward for him and whatever team drafts him in June.”
Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals per game before the injury. He finished the season ranked second in school history with 106 blocks, behind only Anthony Davis from a year ago.