Karl-Anthony Towns Picked No. 1 by The Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
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BROOKLYN — Ever since birth when television cameras were following him around at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison because of his enormous features, Karl-Anthony Towns has always been in the spotlight.

Adding in a skill set to match his enormous frame (he wears a size 20 sneaker) as well as a unique, bubbling personality and honors such as Gatorade National Player of the Year, McDonald’s All-American, SEC Freshman of the Year and member of the Dominican National Team, lights and cameras have always been focused on the Piscataway resident who played at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen.

Now, as the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA draft, the spotlight will be shining at its brightest. At 19 years of age.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced to a sold out crowd at the Barclays Center on Thursday just prior to 8 p.m. that Towns was the No. 1 pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Towns will sign a four-year contract with the first year estimated at $4.6 million.

Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky dunks against Alabama

Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky dunks against Alabama

Towns became the third player from St. Joseph-Metuchen chosen in the first round of the draft in the last 13 years. Jay Williams was the No. 2 pick in 2002 by the Chicago Bulls, Andrew Bynum was No. 10 in 2005 by the Los Angeles Lakers.

While Williams, who was at the draft as an analyst for ESPN, is from Plainfield in Union County and Bynum from West Windsor in Mercer County, Towns hails from Piscataway in Middlesex County.

“This a dream come true for me and I am blessed, especially since this is in my backyard and my family is here to share this with me,” said Towns. “I learned from playing against the best the hard work it takes to get here and after we celebrate this, it will be right back to work. This is my job now. My goal now is to work toward a championship.”

In three years at St. Joseph, Towns led the Falcons to three straight Non-Public A championships and three berths in the Tournament of Champions. In 2013-14, St. Joseph won the T of C. All of the above accolades were school firsts.

St. Joseph head coach Dave Turco, who coached Towns for three glorious years at St. Joseph, was at the draft taking it all in. When the name Karl-Anthony Towns was announced No. 1, this was his reaction:

“Just amazing. Sit back and think about it, he is the top player selected in the greatest basketball league in the world.  I am so proud of him. I understand all the sacrifices he has made on and off the court.

“This is a true experience and one I will never forget. Four years ago people questioned his choice (to attend St. Joe’s), along with other things. I think it’s safe to say it was the best choice and all things worked out.”

Karl-Anthony Towns. The University of Kentucky men's basketball team beat Eastern Kentucky University 82-49 in Lexington's Rupp Arena on Sunday, December 7, 2014. Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics

Karl-Anthony Towns.

As a freshman at the University of Kentucky,  Towns, a 6-11 forward/center, averaged 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.26 blocks and just 21.1 minutes per game in 39 games (all starts) for the Wildcats this past season and was named SEC Freshman of the Year and First Team All-SEC.

He shot 56.6 percent from the field, 81.3 percent from the free-throw line and recorded a team-best eight double-doubles. Towns was a Consensus Second Team All-American and was named NCAA Midwest Region Most Valuable Player after leading Kentucky to the Final Four. He scored a career-high 25 points, on 10-of-13 shooting, to lead the Wildcats past Notre Dame in the Elite Eight.

LINKS TO PAST ARTICLES AND VIDEOS:

BEST PLAYER/BEST KID I HAVE EVER COVERED

Q AND A WITH TOWNS WHILE AT UK

TOWNS PICKS UK

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS IS THE STATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

TOWNS COMES BACK TO ST. JOE’S TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS, STORY/VIDEO

TALKING KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS WITH ST. JOE’S COACH DAVE TURCO WITH VIDEO

VIDEO: THE DAY TOWNS MADE HIS COLLEGE DECISION

VIDEO: TOWNS IN HIS 3 YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

Here was a profile on Towns from 2014

THE KARL TOWNS FILE
BORN: Nov. 15, 1995.

WHERE: John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Edison.

BORN AND RAISED: Piscataway.

HOBBIES: XBox, Piano, Golf.

NICKNAME: ‘KAT’ (Karl-Anthony Towns), Special K.

WHY #44: They went by size. The only two numbers left in my size were 44 and 57. Then I found out 44 was the number my sister (Lachelle) wore in high school.

NUMBER AT KENTUCKY: “I will wear #12. Number 44 is taken and 12 is my number with the Dominican akarl10RE-GAME RITUAL: “Always have to give my wristband to coach Cuozzo, I have to do the same exact thing in warmups each game and I don’t eat anything three hours before the game.”

BIGGEST INFLUECES: “My family. They have always been there for me from the start, providing me with anything I needed to become the best player I could be.”

COLLEGE CHOICES: “I chose Kentucky over Duke. The other choices were N.C. State, Michigan State, Seton Hall and Rutgers.”

TWITTER FOLLOWERS: 20,200 (as of Thursday).

BIGGEST SPORTS MOMENT: “Two. Winning the state AAU championship in fifth grade when we were down by six points with nine seconds left. Me and my teammate, Isaiah Briscoe, went off. And winning our first state group championship with James Ziemba, Jimbo Long, Quenton DeCosey and Danny Brix.”

PLACE WOULD MOST LIKE TO VISIT: Hawaii.

TEN YEARS FROM NOW: “Still playing the League.”

FAMOUS PEOPLE YOU HAVE MET: “LeBron, Kobe, Carmello, Kevin Love, Magic, Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin, Kevin Durant, Dominque Wilkins, Julius Irving, Alonzo Mourning, Drake, Jay-Z, Ashanti, Soulja Boy, Busta Rhymes, David Banner, Mariah Carey, Robin Thicke.”

DID YOU KNOW? Towns wanted to play baseball, his first love, his senior year, but Kentucky coach John Calipari said no, especially when he heard Karl wanted to pitch.

DINNER FOR FOUR: Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Charles Barkley.

HEIGHT IN FIFTH GRADE: 5-foot-11
HEIGHT IN SIXTH GRADE: 6-1
HEIGHT IN 9TH GRADE: 6-9

SHOUTOUT: “To Danny Brix, Jimbo Long and James Ziemba. They were the captains my first two years and took a lot of pressure off me. And they are some of the greatest human beings ever.”

FAVORITES
FOOD: Chicken and rice.

JUNK FOOD: Chocolate chip cookies.

ATHLETE: “Len Bias (passed away). He’s everything I want to be as a basketball player. He was a beast and did so much on both ends of the court.”

SPORTS TEAM: “Philadelphia Eagles. Football is my favorite sport to watch.”

TV SHOW: Looney Toons.

MOVIES: Space Jam, Coach Carter.

ACTOR: Mark Walhberg.

ACTRESS: “Sandra Bullock for pure acting, Paula Patton for pure looks, Halle Berry for the whole package.”

BOOK: The Iliad.

TOUGHEST HIGH SCHOOL OPPONENT: Tyler Roberson of Roselle Catholic.

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