Behind The ScenesNBA

Former Kentucky basketball star Nerlens Noel visits ESPN campus before NBA Draft Lottery

Nerlens Noel turned 19 years old in April. To our knowledge, ESPN’s cameras were not present at his birthday party. But ESPN has chronicled many milestone moments in the former University of Kentucky basketball star’s development.

In April 2012, ESPN aired his head-turning commitment to the Wildcats; in October, ESPN captured his first collegiate practices; in February 2013, the 6-foot, 10-inch shot blocker suffered a season-ending injury in a game airing on ESPN’s platforms. The next significant step in Noel’s career happens tonight on ESPN when the NBA conducts the 2013 Draft Lottery (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on KIA NBA Countdown) before Game 2 of the San Antonio Spurs-Memphis Grizzlies Western Conference Finals duel.

The lottery process helps determine the order of selection in the June 27 NBA Draft. During the telecast, Noel will be interviewed by ESPN’s Andy Katz.

Even as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, Noel still is considered by many experts to be the top draft prospect.

During Noel’s ESPN “Car Wash” visit to the network’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters on May 13, Front Row asked him to share his thoughts on: the ESPN Lottery Mock Draft page and its projections of where he might land; the numerous replays of his injury; and the advice Kentucky coach and frequent ESPN “Car Wash” guest John Calipari gave him for his Bristol visit.

Video produced by Ariel Bond

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