Philadelphia 76ers star Nerlens Noel expresses his excitement to return to the court, revisits his hometown of Everett, MA, and discusses the role private coaching has had on his career.
Nerlens Noel: The first time I step on the court to play an NBA game, means it’s gonna be a moment for life. I mean, just working as hard as I’ve worked to get to the point I’m at now, I mean it’s just, it’s gonna be a special moment to have all my loved ones and family and friends there, to be a part of it with me. There’s nothing more I can ask for. It’s the best barber in Mass. right here! I mean it’s great, being able to come back here and get all the love and support I’ve had the past few years that I’ve been gone, it’s real special to come back here and call this place my home. C’mon let me see it, in and out crossover! Mike Catapano: Ya know, Nerlens is very gifted, athletic, tall kid. But, I’ve seen thousands of those guys who never made it. And the personal coaching experience that he got throughout his youth up until now, really, it shows in his game, it shows in his personality. That’s really been the key, I think, to getting him over the edge and making him an NBA player. Don’t make any move, just get it and go. One dribble, one leg layup. Nerlens Noel: Pre private coaching, I definitely have to say it was my confidence. Ya know? When I made a move I wasn’t really sure if I’d hit the shot. And that all takes through with, you know, being in the gym with someone that could harness that inside of you, you knowing, having the confidence when you shoot that free-throw you’re gonna make it. Mike Catapano: Nerlens has all the tools to be a great player, but when you get a player on the court individually and you can repeat, and show them how to maximize their capability by themselves, that gives them the confidence to do it when they’re in game situations, because they’ve done it repeatedly with that personal coach, and they know they can do it in their heart. But, when you can refine it, and work on it, and you gain that confidence alone, you have the confidence to do it. And that’s, I think, what Nerlens’ has gained from personal coaching. Nerlens Noel: In one word I would describe private coaching as: crucial. Because, early on I was gifted athletically, but to really bring your skill set along, you really need someone that will be there for you, helping you. Coach Mike was always there for me, that’s something, no matter how gifted I was, I always needed that. That’s crucial.