Nerlens Noel, Honored by SEC Monday, to Undergo Surgery Tuesday
This story appears courtesy of KY Forward. KY Forward's coverage of UK Athletics is brought to you by Republic Bank.
The next step in Nerlens Noel‘s return from a season-ending injury will take place this week, but it’s Noel’s off-the-court work that earned him recognition Monday.
Noel was one of 14 Southeastern Conference men’s basketball players named to the league’s community service team.
Noel, who missed the final seven games of the regular season after tearing the ACL in his left knee, will undergo surgery to repair the injury Tuesday in Gulf Breeze, Fla. The procedure will be conducted by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Scott Mair of UK Sports Medicine will observe the procedure and help coordinate Noel’s rehab in Lexington.
“After talking with my family, I decided to schedule my surgery over spring break so I wouldn’t miss as much class,” Noel said in a news release from UK. “I wish all my teammates luck in the SEC Tournament and look forward to getting back to Lexington as soon as I can to begin my rehab and finish my school work.”
Noel received the SEC Community Service team honor in recognition of the more than 100 hours of the community since his arrival at UK. He spent time this summer working as a mentor at the New England Child Services “MARK” mentoring program. Noel surprised a number of folks at a nursing home in Lexington and spent time taking photos and conversing with residents. He also attended a Special Olympics autism event and signed autographs and spent time taking pictures. He was in attendance and cheered on players at a Special Olympics basketball event.
Noel has volunteered at a children’s basketball camp and promoted juvenile cancer patient Lane Goodwin through social media to help send well wishes to the young boy and his family. Noel has on a few occasions visited with children at the UK Children’s Hospital since coming to Lexington.
The freshman has also collaborated with his teammates in several team-oriented events such as a coat drive, the Hurricane Sandy telethon and volunteer work at Campton Elementary school and with Samaritan’s Feet.
This marks the 15th year for the SEC Community Service Team for men’s basketball as well as for women’s basketball. All 20 league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men’s and women’s sports being chosen from 1999-2003. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.
UK junior guard Kastine Evans was named to the women’s basketball community service team.
Photo: Nerlens Noel/Jon Hale for KY Forward