Catching Up With Nerlens Noel

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Ryan McNeill: How did you hook up with CoachUp?
Nerlens Noel: The person that handles my brand management and endorsements (Dave Pace) thought it was a good fit on both sides. He arranged a meeting up in Boston with CoachUp and we really hit it off.

RM: What does your role as an Athlete Advisor entail?
NN: I’m going to be involved in many aspects. I didn’t want to do it unless I was really going to be involved, but they really value my input and that was appealing to me. I feel like in have a lot to add, but also a lot to learn. I’ll help them and they’ll help me.

RM: How has having a personal coach helped you grow as a player?
NN: It’s been invaluable. Although just physical adjustments and on court workouts are definitely a big part of it, there’s more to it. The psychological and mental parts of the game are huge. My private coaches have helped me in every aspect.

RM: How do you balance working with a personal coach as well as collegiate coaches (while at UK) and now with the Sixers?
NN: Good question. In everything I do, I always have a team, and nobody on the team thinks about themselves. We get together and define the particular goal we want to achieve. Then we define roles. Once we have those things established, everything goes smoothly.

RM: How tough was it for you to not play any games last season? How did the experience of being with the team during video sessions, watching practices and working out with strength and conditioning coaches help you grow as a player?
NN: Well, I’m a competitor as much as I am a basketball player, so it was extremely tough. All of that helped. You see an NBA game on TV and you might not realize how good these guys are. So any little tendency I can pick up on a player is very helpful, and every extra set of whatever exercise I’m doing is going to make me that much stronger or quicker. You need every edge you can in this league.

RM: As tough as last season was for Philly, how exciting is it to be part of something exciting? The team has you, rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams and two lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.
NN: Well I’m a competitor as much as I am a basketball player, so it was extremely tough. All of that helped. You see an NBA game on TV and you might not realize how good these guys are. So any little tendency I can pick up on a player is very helpful, and every extra set of whatever exercise I’m doing is going to make me that much stronger or quicker. You need every edge you can in this league.

RM: I’ve had the chance to chat with Brett Brown a couple of times and his passion for the game was great to hear. How has he helped you grow as a player? What was it like watching him work with the team last season?
NN: It was great. I don’t think I could ask to be in a better position as far as having him as my coach. We both view the game similarly in that we are both passionate about the game. I’m looking forward to a long successful relationship with coach Brown.

About the Author

Ryan McNeill Ryan McNeill has appeared on ESPN Radio, MTV Canada, SiriusXM, The Fan 590 and other radio programs and TV shows. He has covered the NBA with media credentials since the 2007-08 season.