Initially, Nerlens Noel had one big reservation about his decision to reclassify from 2013 to 2012.
“I didn’t want to miss the postseason all-star games,” said Noel, a center at Tilton (Tilton, N.H.) who officially became a part of the 2012 class in late February. “I definitely wanted to play in games like the Jordan Classic, McDonald’s All-American game and stuff like that. I felt like I’d done enough to be able to make it.”
He will get his chance to play in at least one of those games.
A month after the Jordan Brand Classic announced its talented roster they added the No. 1 player in the ESPNU 100. The game will commence at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 14 (7 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, Mass.) center Steven Adams, a Pittsburgh signee who is ranked No. 6 in the ESPNU 100, was also added to the roster.
“It feels great to be able to be a part of a game like the Jordan Classic,” Noel said. “It’s really an honor. I’ve played against these guys all year and all last summer and to be able to play against them again in a game like this will be a lot of fun. I’m happy they added me.”
Noel wasn’t the only one.
Rasheed Sulaimon said that adding Noel, widely regarded as the best shot blocker in years, was a no-brainer.
“He’s the No. 1 player in the class, how can you not let him in?” said Sulaimon, a shooting guard at Strake Jesuit who is signed to Duke. “He’s proved that he is an elite talent and he has worked hard and come a long way. I think it’s great for the game that he’s been added.”