Might Noah Kirkwood soon join that rarest of NBA clubs, the one with degrees from Harvard? If he makes it in the league, he will be the only the fifth Crimson player — and the first since Jeremy Lin — to don an NBA uniform. Heck, that’s less than half the number of Harvard grads who went on to become President of the United States (11)!
But the Nets do like the 6’7” guard whose poise and steadiness have impressed the brass in Summer League. Whether that gets him a training camp invite is uncertain but he has not hurt himself in Las Vegas.
“Noah is really easy to play with,” Summer League coach Adam Caporn told Alex Schiffer this week. “He’s smart, tough and can shoot. So that’s like a nice piece to have on the court on any team.”
Kirkwood, a native of Kanata, Ontario, near Canada’s capital, also has some ready-made connections with the Nets. He played on three Canadian national teams as a teenager when Steve Nash was general manager of Canada Basketball. In 2017, he won gold at the FIBA U19 World Championships, the youngest player on a team led by R.J. Barrett, Nash’s godson. At Harvard last season, he averaged 17.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists . In other words, someone who can contribute in various ways and win.
“I think they recognize with me it’s not about trying to get 20,” Kirkwood told Schiffer. “It’s more about just being a good spacer, being a good teammate, making shots when I can and bring energy really.”
Even if he doesn’t make the 20-man camp roster, Kirkwood’ could find a home on Long Island. The Nets, like every other NBA club, uses Summer League not just as a tryout for the NBA club but for the G League version as well.
No doubt, Kirkwood wants more than that, but he’s already accomplished quite a bit, starting with the gold medal, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year award his freshman year and two All-Ivy League spots in his sophomore and senior years (the Ivies shut down his junior year.) Not to mention that degree from Harvard, majoring in sociology and economics.
The young Nets play again Thursday night vs. the Timberwolves at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU. That’s a change from the original schedule which had them starting an hour earlier.
- The Harvard grad - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic