“Nerlens Noel is a 6-foot-10 basketball star considered the best prospect from the Boston area since Patrick Ewing. He is the top-ranked high school senior in the country, and hailed as the best shot blocker of his generation. The 17-year-old son of working-class Haitian immigrants, he could be worth $10 million in about 16 months when he is eligible for the 2013 N.B.A draft.
“His college choices have narrowed to some of the elite programs in the country: Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Georgetown and Connecticut.
“All make the future seem blindingly bright for Noel. But in the shadowy world of recruiting, it is rarely that simple. The pursuit of Noel includes not just college coaches hoping for a star on the court. There are also fringe figures hoping to latch on to a player seemingly viewed more as a commodity than as a teenager.
“I feel like the kid is a piece of meat right now, and he’s going to be used,” said George Wright-Easy, one of the numerous adults who have mentored Noel over the years. “Grown men are fighting over a kid.”
Read the full article at The New York Times.
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