Noel surprises Kentucky prep kidney transplant patient

Nerlens Noel hasn't played an NBA game yet, but he's still acting like a pro with class.

Daniel Shirey

Nerlens Noel hasn’t forgotten his Kentucky roots.

The 76ers rookie recently surprised a kidney transplant patient in Lexington with an invitation to join him in Philadelphia to watch the Sixers battle the Heat.

Noel, an All-SEC first-teamer for the Wildcats from 2012-13, taped a message for Braxton Upthegrove, a 16-year-old team manager for the Henry Clay High boys team who’s awaiting his second kidney transplant.

"Braxton, why don’t you and your mom come join me in just a few days to watch my team play the Miami Heat," Noel said in the message, which played at halftime of the team’s game Tuesday. "Be my guest."

As you can imagine, Braxton was overwhelmed.

"I can’t wait now," he told WKYT. "I can’t. And get away from school."

Nice gesture by Noel, so you might be happy to know that the 19-year-old, who’s been recovering from a torn ACL for almost a year, has been cleared for basketball activities and could make his debut this season.