Nerlens Noel from Everett, MA was the number 1 high school player in the class of 2012, and in April of 2012 he committed to the University of Kentucky. Noel is considered by most to be the number 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Most critics of John Calipari and his one and done system say the kids he recruits don’t go to school, only care about going pro, and never interact with fans; because they are only in college for one year. That’s not the case at all. The kids John Calipari recruits are not only great basketball players, but also great kids as well. Nerlens Noel is a perfect example of the kind of kids Calipari recruits.
Lane Goodwin was a 13 year old boy from Beach Grove, Kentucky, who recently lost his battle with a rare type of cancer called “Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma”. In 2010 he completed chemotherapy treatments, but had a relapse in the summer of 2011. A “Thumbs up for Lane” campaign started right after that and quickly went global. He was a huge Kentucky Wildcats fan and his favorite player was Nerlens Noel. Noel could have just gave a thumbs up for him and went on with his superstar life, but he didn’t. He went above and beyond what anybody thought he would do and made Lane Goodwin smile ear to ear in the last months of his life.
On September 29th 2012, Nerlens Noel took 10 minutes out of his busy schedule and facetimed with Lane, they talked about the upcoming season and whatever else Goodwin wanted to talk about. That was a great moment for the “Big Blue Nation” as word spread throughout the state of Noel’s kind actions. Two weeks later Midnight Madness rolled around, and this is one of the most exciting days of the year for Kentucky fans. Lane was sick, and was not able to attend the madness so the family went in his name. Once again Noel went out of his way to help the family in a time of pain. Noel took the family backstage before Midnight Madness started and took pictures with them, and walked them around to meet some of the other UK players. That night was probably a better moment for Lane as he was always looking out for the better of someone else. Here is video of the encounter:
Nerlens Noel may only be in Lexington, Kentucky for one season, but the effect he left on Lane and the rest of the Goodwin family will always be remembered. As a Kentucky fan this makes me more proud than winning a national championship, or winning a SEC title. This is what Kentucky basketball is all about. RIP LANE GOODWIN
The funeral for Lane Goodwin was held today in his hometown of Beech Grove, Kentucky. Prayers go out to the family from me and the rest of Big Blue Nation!!