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Norvel Pelle withdraws from NBA draft over foot issue

June 17, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • Norvel Pelle has a severe blister/wart that needs to be surgically removed, according to a representative for his agent, Greg Nunn.
Norvel Pelle has a severe blister/wart that needs to be surgically removed,… (Randy Belice / Getty Images )

Norvel Pelle’s odyssey to reach the NBA just got at least one year longer.

The former Los Angeles Price High star who twice failed to meet college academic entrance requirements withdrew from the NBA draft on Monday because of a foot issue that forced him to miss workouts for four teams.

Pelle has a severe blister/wart that needs to be surgically removed, according to a representative for his agent, Greg Nunn.

The 6-foot-10 power forward largely remains a mystery because he has not played against high-level competition since he starred at Price more than two years ago. He’s spent most of his time since then bouncing from prep school to prep school while attempting to qualify for college, playing only part of one season at L.A. College Preparatory Academy.

“That’s his biggest obstacle, to be honest with you,” Nunn said before Pelle, 20, withdrew from the June 27 draft. “He looks the part — 6-10, can jump out of the gym and he’s very long, but it’s hard for these teams to judge him if they haven’t seen him in a game environment and don’t have any game tape on him.”

Pelle signed with St. John's but never played for the Red Storm despite attaining a qualifying standardized test score because he achieved only a 2.3 grade-point average when he needed a 2.5. He later tried to play for Iona but did not meet entrance requirements.

Pelle’s most likely options are to spend a season either in the Development League or in a pro league overseas, providing NBA teams with a better idea of his potential before entering the 2014 draft.

His foot injury could have been a fortuitous development because he was not listed as a first- or second-round pick on two prominent mock draft boards. The draft is June 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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