Nerlens Noel’s knee as age-limit referendum

Nerlens Noel - photo by Tammie Brown |
Nerlens Noel – photo by Tammie Brown |

On Tuesday night, that thing you never want to see happen happened: A college basketball player suffered a potentially season-ending injury.  The extent of the injury to freshman Nerlens Noel’s knee was unknown early Wednesday morning, but everyone who saw — from Florida to TV viewers to center Patric Young, who looked on with immediate concern — saw Noel in pursuit of a fast-break block, saw him take off in midair, saw him come close on the basket standard, saw his knee buckle awkwardly beneath, and saw him clutch at it while he took two seconds to process how much pain he was in. Then he started screaming.

It was impossible to see all of this and not be a little bit shaken up. I had to turn away from the TV. The first thought wasn’t about Kentucky’s season or its bubble chances. The first thought was about how badly something has to hurt for a guy made of whatever Noel is made of to scream like that.

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