LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – The long awaited NBA debut of former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel finally arrived on Saturday. Noel, playing for the 76ers Summer League team in Orlando, scored 19 points and gathered two rebounds in a loss to the Magic.
“It’s been 18 months,” Noel told NBA TV after the game. “It’s been a long patient wait.”
Noel scored the game’s first points, on a post up move and slam dunk. Noel was 6-11 from the field and made all seven of his free throws.
“Sitting out last season, it’s tough,” Noel said. “I had to be patient, learn from watching other guys in the league. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve worked on my game diligently.”
Noel played 26 minutes in his first game back since tearing his ACL at Florida in February 2013. The 6-foot-11 center said he will need to improve his stamina to play at a high NBA level.