Noel to debut for Sixers in summer league

Center Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, is expected to make his Sixers debut in summer league action. — AP FILE PHOTO

Philly fans will get their first look at big man Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, for the Sixers in summer league action. Noel, a former Kentucky basketball star who missed all last season while recovering from knee surgery, will play for the Sixers summer league team in the Orlando Pro Summer League.

The first game will be televised live from the Amway Center on Saturday, July 5 at 7 p.m. on The Comcast Network. Noel, a 6-foot-11, 228-pound center, was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-SEC in 2012-13. He spent one season at Kentucky. Noel, 20, had several impressive performances during his freshman year with the Wildcats. In a win over South Carolina, he had 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. He set a school record 12 blocks against Mississippi. He also had eight points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks against Alabama.

Noel, a Everett, Mass native, is known for his rebounding and defensive exploits. He averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks a game as a freshman. It’s going to be interesting to see how he plays after rehabbing and getting in shape to compete in a regular game. The Philly fans will get an opportunity to look down the road to see how Noel and recently drafted Joel Embiid may look together on the basketball court.

Embiid, a 7-foot, 250-pound center, was taken with the third overall pick in the NBA draft a week ago by the Sixers. The former Kansas star is recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot. He’s expected to be out five to eight months. Moreover, there’s a good chance Embiid could miss the 2014-15 season with his injury.

Joining Noel will be Sixers guard Casper Ware and forward Hollis Thompson, who appeared in 77 games last season while shooting a rookie-best 40.1 percent from three-point range. The summer league will take place from July 5 to 11. In addition to Saturday’s game, TCN plans to broadcast the Sixers vs. Oklahoma City on Sunday, July 6 at 9 p.m. and Sixers vs. Houston on Tuesday, July 8 at 11:30 p.m.

 

Contact Staff Writer Donald Hunt at (215) 893-5719 or dhunt@phillytrib.com.

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