Joakim Noah is the son of French tennis star Yannick Noah, but he’s made it clear that he wants to make his own way in the world. So far, he’s well on his way. He stands 6’11” and weighs in at a wiry 227 lbs. He plays forward and center at the University of Florida, but assuming he bulks up a bit, he’ll probably play power forward in the NBA. He plays with non-stop emotion and intensity, making him a fan favorite in Gainesville.
Noah’s high school hoops success culminated in his senior season, where he led Lawrenceville Prep (Princeton, NJ) to a state championship. After enrolling at Florida, he saw very limited action during his freshman season, averaging 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 9.4 minutes per game.
During his sophomore season, Noah blossomed into a star. He averaged 14.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, earning him a spot on the First Team All-SEC and an honorable mention for the AP All-American team. In the NCAA tournament, he led the Gators past #1-seed Villanova into the Final Four. In the championship game, Noah scored 16 points and blocked six shots (a tournament record) in a win over UCLA, and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Even though many believed he would have been the #1 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Noah, along with teammates Al Horford and Corey Brewer, decided to stay in school for another season. With the NBA’s new age limit forcing many prep stars to college this season, next year’s draft should be extremely deep, so Noah’s decision to stay in school probably hurt him financially. Noah’s stock probably won’t be any higher than it was after last season, but it’s clear that money is not the most important thing to him.
The premier NBA Draft site breaks down Noah’s strengths and weaknesses.
Regularly updated by users, this is an excellent source for information about Noah.
The Florida athletic department put together a comprehensive profile of Joakim Noah.
Keep up with Noah’s game-by-game statistics.
Star high school athlete becomes his own man
This USA Today article from 2004 describes Noah’s relationship with his father and his high school career.
Horford, Noah glad they stayed
This Chattanooga Times Free Press article describes Noah’s decision to stay at Florida for another season.
UF avoids next level's lure
This Florida Times-Union article discusses the how NBA scouting can impact how Noah performs for his college team.
NBA 2010: Charting the rise of future stars
NBA analysts predict where the young stars of today will be in 2010.
Quotes about Joakim Noah
“Noah says he knows exactly who he is - and it's deeper than being the son of fame and beauty. He's the sum of what he has seen and done, that's who. Noah says he's a little bit of everything.” - Rick Maese, Orlando Sentinel
“I never had any idea how good he would be. When he got older, he'd always play ball with my son, and even then I didn't know he'd be like he is now. I still can't believe he's 7-feet.”
- Former NBA-great Patrick Ewing
“Joakim is a people person, he enjoys being around people. He has an enthusiasm for life that's so refreshing. He's very much opinionated. Wait, that isn't the right word. He's very, very well-versed. Let's say politics or things that are going on in the country and the world - he likes debating these things. I remember seeing him and [associate head coach] Anthony Grant and they were having a healthy discussion about politics. That’s not something you always see.” - Florida coach Billy Donovan
“Joakim Noah is, simply put, one of the most unique players in NCAA history and could very well carry that status over to the NBA whenever he decides to enter the league. NBA executives love to compare draftable players to current NBA players, but when special talents like Magic Johnson or Larry Bird hit the scene, they have no one to make a fair comparison with because of their unique talent level. Noah fits that description.” - David Thorpe, Pro Training Center
“Joakim Noah probably is an NBA lottery pick, but how successful he'll be as a professional could depend on how much his game develops at Florida. One NBA scout, who requested anonymity because of league rules, said Noah has to develop a mid-range jump shot, and that means altering his shooting style. And he needs to improve his strength. Noah understands that advice - and has ignored it.”
- Florida Times-Union
“Why would I shoot the basketball [from outside]? We've got Humpty [senior guard Lee Humphrey]. That's what he does. That's not my job. My job is to be inside, play defense, block shots, do whatever I need to do. I don't need to shoot.” - Joakim Noah, in response to criticism of his lack of outside shooting