The world works in mysterious ways, just ask Norvel Pelle and his cousin Dwayne Thompson.
The two family members were connected back around the time when Pelle committed to St. John’s, and have stayed in touch ever since. In fact, Thompson is now Pelle’s manager, and has played a large part in directing Pelle down a positive path, which led to him being selected sixth overall in the 2013 NBA D-League draft by the Delaware 87ers.
DleagueDigest.com spoke with Pelle, and according to the 6-11, 210 pound versatile post player, he had no clue where he was going in the NBADL draft. “I had no idea where I was going to go at all. I don’t have any expectations, I just know that I need to play hard every night and continue to stay positive.”
When talking with the gifted big man these days, the word “positive” comes up a lot, but it’s justifiable. Back when Pelle was the No. 1-ranked high school center in the class of 2011, everybody wanted to have something to do with him. Pelle had, and still holds onto incredibly special skills which people easily saw back then, and continue to see today. As a result, the soft-spoken Pelle went through a series of different suggestions regarding his basketball future, none of which Thompson ultimately felt comfortable with.
Over time, and after a few trips out to New York to visit Thompson, the two created a strong bond which led to an agreement that Thompson should be Pelle’s manager. Thompson, a former 4-year player at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, has an incredible knowledge of the game, and the New York connections to go with his previous playing experience.
Despite working a nine-to-five job, Thompson has housed Pelle in his New York apartment, and according to Thompson, “exhausted all my resources to get Norvel regular workouts, and regular competitive games to help him get to where he needs to be.” It has been a successful formula so far, and will likely continue as the two stay in extremely close contact with each other.
Pelle described what his goals were when he left the west coast via a one-way ticket to New York earlier this past September. “The reason why I decided to move out to New York was to get in some really good workouts and games, but more importantly it was to get into a positive mindset. I’ve become faster, and I see the ball better, but my mindset is what’s most important.” Pelle said.
When asked who Pelle compares his game to past or present, Pelle responded, “I’d like to think I’m a mix of Kareem, Kevin Durant, Amare Stoudemire, and Serge Ibaka.” Pelle can certainly develop into a player with similar attributes as the aforementioned players, especially under the guidance of Thompson, and the staff in Delaware.
“I just want be a sponge, and soak up all the knowledge and information that I can get in Delaware. I’m excited to get started.” Pelle concluded.
Without any real game film against top-notch competition, Pelle enters the 2013-2014 NBA D-League season as one of the largest unknown talents in the entire league. However, after listening to Thompson describe player’s reactions in the competitive games which Pelle has been playing in, and the documented interest from NBA scouts and general managers, Pelle is likely to make a large splash in the NBADL this season.