In Their Own Words: 2014 McDonald’s All-Americans Describe Their Talents

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You’ve heard the saying: “The kids are alright.”

Well, these kids are more than alright.

As the NBA’s ever-evolving landscape of perimeter-oriented and multifaceted skill sets take the basketball world by storm on a nightly basis, the youth who aspire to compete against their heroes (in 2015 or beyond, thanks to the one-and-done rule) have keenly paid attention to the changes in the game and what they mean for their own personal development as players.

SheridanHoops caught up with nine of the 24 McDonald’s All-Americans at Tuesday’s media day to discuss their games: 

Bauman: Noel and Len — Two players, two paths and a collision at No. 1

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nbadraft13_300x250_3 (1)NEW YORK — Nerlens Noel grew up fixated on playing in the NBA.

“Since I was a little kid, like 8 years old, I’ve wished for this to come true, to play in the NBA and now it’s finally here,” said Noel. “All the hard work has paid off.”

Meanwhile, halfway around the globe in Ukraine, Alex Len didn’t know what basketball was all about until he was a 13-year old who was still participating in gymnastics.

“Dude, you don’t belong there,” explained Len, regarding how his first basketball coach escorted him off of the parallel bars and onto the hardwood.

“You belong on the basketball court.”

He did then, and he certainly still does now.

2013 NBA Draft: Top Centers

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Just four days ago, the 2013 NBA draft was turned upside down when Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel suffered a devastating knee injury.

Over the past month, Noel has separated himself from the pack to be projected as the top pick in June’s draft. Instantly, Twitter blew up with reaction from fans and journalists ranging from the injury to the gruesome images to his draft stock.

In the days following it was revealed that Noel suffered a torn ACL and is expected to have surgery in the next few weeks. He should be recovered in six to eight months.

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Kentucky-Duke preview, and NCAA stud watch update

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In an extremely loaded four-team preseason tournament, the Legends Classic in Atlanta tonight will place No. 7 Kansas against No. 14 Michigan State on one side of the bracket while the defending national champion No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats will face the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils.

Although Kentucky escaped its matchup with the Maryland Terrapins on Friday at the Barclays Center, it’s clear that this Kentucky team is a work in progress and will try to find itself as the season progresses.

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