Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel missed all of last season with a torn ACL after being selected with the No. 6 pick in the 2013 draft. During his recovery from the injury, the former Kentucky center developed a bond with another former Wildcat, Rajon Rondo, who Noel called his "biggest helper" in an interview with CBS Sports.
Rondo tore his ACL in January 2013, less than a month before Noel sustained the same injury against Florida during his freshman year. Rondo returned in January last season, and played 30 games for the Boston Celtics, averaging 11.7 points and 9.8 assists per game. Noel averaged 13.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in three games in the Orlando Summer League.
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From the CBS Sports interview:
Is it important to you now that you've been through it to talk to other guys if they go down with that same injury?
"Oh yeah, yeah. Definitely, definitely. With all the support and love, certain guys, especially Rajon Rondo -- he was definitely the biggest helper through this whole process, he actually gave me his phone number and told me I could hit him up whenever about it. Being from Boston, watching him growing up, and he went through it and he came back as strong as possible, actually before me, so it gave me a lot of confidence, having his good faith."
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- Alex Hampl