Above: Nerlens Noel
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The clock kept ticking, and Nerlens Noel, once projected to go number one overall, no longer knew his fate.
But then the pick came, and Noel, the former Kentucky star, was heading to the NBA.
Noel is the son of immigrants from Haiti, and he now looks to follow in the footsteps of Tim Duncan as a shot-blocking center of Caribbean heritage.
While Noel was drafted by the newly-renamed New Orleans Pelicans, his rights were soon traded to the Phildaelphia 76ers, where he will try to anchor the defense of a team that is rebuilding. He also follows what is becoming a long line of strong NBA centers of Haitian heritage.
It began with Olden Polynice, who was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bulls in 1987, and continued with Samuel Dalembert, who is a free agent after having played most recently with the Milwaukee Bucks.
For now, Noel will continue to rehabilitate the ACL knee injury some saw as the reason he dropped to sixth.
But, eyeing a December return, Noel will likely aim to prove the first five teams that they made a very large mistake.
Only time will tell.