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Noel positive on winning Rookie of the Year award

Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Philadelphia 76ers big man Nerlens Noel expressed his optimism to the press on winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

On Sunday, when he and former WNBA star Ruth Riley attended the Jr. NBA All-Star Game at the Mall of Asia Music Hall, the 6-11 center-forward, when asked if he is confident on topping Andrew Wiggins for the said plum, answered, "Yeah. Why not? I think no one put on the stats that I did."

However, Noel added that he will accept the result of the said award.

"Regardless if I win or not, I'll still continue progressing as a player and get better and better," he later vowed.

Originally selected as the fifth overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans but traded immediately to the Sixers, Noel only played this season after skipping the 2014 season to an ACL injury, making him eligible to win the top freshman award this year.

In 75 games this season, Noel averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 1.8 steals an outing.

However, he will be up against Wiggins, the top pick of last year's draft.

Wiggins, who like Noel got traded before the season started, normed 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, one steal, and 0.6 block a match. He played in all 82 Minnesota Timberwolves games this year.