Karl-Anthony Towns

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Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns 2015.jpg
Towns shooting a free throw against the Florida Gators in 2015
No. 32 – Minnesota Timberwolves
Position Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1995-11-15) November 15, 1995 (age 22)
Edison, New Jersey
Nationality Dominican / American
Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight 248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school St. Joseph (Metuchen, New Jersey)
College Kentucky (2014–2015)
NBA draft 2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Playing career 2015–present
Career history
2015–present Minnesota Timberwolves
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Karl-Anthony Towns Jr. (born November 15, 1995) is a Dominican-American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of Kentucky. Towns was named to the Dominican Republic national basketball team Olympic squad as a 16-year-old, although the Dominican Republic ultimately did not qualify for the 2012 Olympics. He was selected with the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and went on to be named NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2015–16 season.

Early life[edit]

Towns was born in Edison, New Jersey[1] to an African American father, Karl Towns Sr.,[2][3] and a Dominican mother, Jacqueline Cruz.[3][4] He grew up in Piscataway, New Jersey and attended Lake Nelson Seventh-Day Adventist School before transferring to Theodore Schor Middle School from Our Lady of Fatima School in 2009.[5] At Theodore Schor, he repeated seventh grade in order to gain an extra year of development.[6] Towns's father played basketball for Monmouth University and coached basketball at Piscataway Technical High School, where the precocious Towns practiced with the junior varsity team as a fifth grader.[7]

High school career[edit]

As a freshman at St. Joseph High School, Towns led the basketball team to a state championship in 2012, earning himself the top position in the ESPN 25 national ranking of high school players.[8] Towns also led his team to state titles in 2013 and 2014.[7] Towns was selected at the age of 16 to play on the Dominican Republic national basketball team, which represents that nation in international competition.[8] Towns was eligible based on the fact that his mother is from the Dominican Republic. During 2011 and 2012 competitions, John Calipari, head coach at the University of Kentucky and a former NBA head coach, coached the team, which finished third in the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship and fourth place at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men, falling one position short of qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Basketball Tournament.[9]

In December 2012, Towns announced that he was going to reclassify as a senior and commit to play on the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team under Coach John Calipari, who had coached him as part of the national team of the Dominican Republic. ESPN, which had ranked him as the top prospect in the 2015 recruiting class, listed him as third-ranked in its 2014 class.[10] Towns graduated from high school with a 3.96 GPA on a 4.5 scale.[7] He was named the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year.[11]

On January 6, 2013, Towns recorded a quadruple-double with 16 points, 17 rebounds, 11 blocks and 11 assists.[12] He recorded a second quadruple-double on January 5, 2014 with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 12 blocks and 10 assists. Towns averaged 20.9 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.2 blocks per game as a senior.[13]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Karl-Anthony Towns
Metuchen, New Jersey St. Joseph 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Dec 4, 2012 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:5/5 stars   Rivals:5/5 stars   247Sports:5/5 stars    ESPN:5/5 stars
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 4, 2 (C)   Rivals: 5  ESPN: 9, 1 (NJ), 3 (C)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career[edit]

In his freshman year, Kentucky used a unique "platoon system" that limited the minutes of each player, and he subsequently averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game.[14] He studied kinesiology in his one year at Kentucky, and hopes to become a doctor after his basketball career.[15][16] Though he left Kentucky for the NBA, Towns enrolled in online courses, and hopes to earn his degree.[17] He was named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press and NABC, and a third-team All-American by Sporting News.[18][19][20] Throughout the 2014–15 season, Towns was often ranked behind Duke center Jahlil Okafor as a draft prospect. However, due to strong play in the NCAA Tournament, and a growing consensus that Towns was a better defensive player and had an opportunity to become a better offensive player as well, Towns overtook Okafor in most draft rankings.[21]

On April 9, 2015, Towns and fellow Kentucky teammates in Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles and Willie Cauley-Stein, all declared for the 2015 NBA draft.

College statistics[edit]

2014–15 Kentucky 39 39 21.1 .566 .250 .813 6.7 1.1 .5 2.3 10.3

Professional career[edit]

Minnesota Timberwolves (2015–present)[edit]

2015–16 season: Rookie of the Year[edit]

On June 25, 2015, Towns was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.[22] He signed his rookie scale contract with the Timberwolves on July 7,[23] and made his NBA debut in the Timberwolves' season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 28, recording 14 points and 12 rebounds as a starter in a 112–111 win.[24] In the following game on October 30 against the Denver Nuggets, his 28 points and 14 rebounds propelled the Timberwolves to their first 2–0 start with two wins on the road in team history.[25] Over his first 13 games of the season, Towns averaged 16.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Those numbers dropped, however, to 8.4 points and 6.0 rebounds over the next five games.[26] Despite this, on December 3, he was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November, becoming just the seventh Timberwolves player to win NBA Rookie of the Month honors.[27]

On December 5, Towns responded to his previous poor string of games with his best performance since October 30, recording 27 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.[28] Two games later, on December 9, he recorded 26 points and 14 rebounds in a 123–122 overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers.[29] On January 20, 2016, he had a season-best game with 27 points and career highs of 17 rebounds and six blocks in a 106–94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.[30] On January 29, he recorded 32 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to the Utah Jazz, becoming the youngest player to have 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game since Kevin Durant did so in 2008.[31] On February 2, he was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January—his third consecutive rookie of the month honor.[32] On February 10, he scored a career-high 35 points in a 117–112 win over the Toronto Raptors.[33][34] Three days later, he won the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge over point guard Isaiah Thomas, becoming the tallest, heaviest, and youngest winner of the event.[35] On February 27, he had a 30-point, 15-rebound game in a 112–110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[36] He was subsequently named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February, joining teammate Andrew Wiggins (November, December 2014, January, February 2015) as the second player in Wolves history to earn NBA Rookie of the Month honors in four consecutive months.[37]

On March 25, Towns grabbed 10 rebounds against the Washington Wizards, setting a Minnesota rookie rebounding record, pushing his season total to 741 and passing Kevin Love's record of 734.[38] On April 7, he recorded his 50th double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 105–97 win over the Sacramento Kings.[39] Four days later, in a loss to the Houston Rockets, Towns passed Christian Laettner for the franchise's rookie scoring record with 1,475 points.[40] Earlier that day, he was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, April 4 through Sunday, April 10.[41] In the Timberwolves' season finale on April 13, Towns recorded 28 points and 14 rebounds in a 144–109 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[42] He played and started in all 82 games for the Timberwolves in 2015–16, averaging 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game; he subsequently earned unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year honors.[43] Towns earned Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors in each of the season's six months, becoming the first Timberwolves player to do so. In addition, he became just the fifth unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year, and with teammate Andrew Wiggins winning the award in 2014–15, Minnesota became the first team with back-to-back Rookie of the Year winners since the Buffalo Braves in 1972–73 (Bob McAdoo) and 1973–74 (Ernie DiGregorio), as well as the first team with back-to-back No. 1 draft picks earning Rookie of the Year honors.[44] He also earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors.[45]

2016–17 season[edit]

On November 30, 2016, Towns recorded a career-high 47 points and 18 rebounds in a 106–104 loss to the New York Knicks. At 21 years old, Towns became the third-youngest player in the last three decades to have at least 45 points and 15 rebounds in a game. In addition, his 22 first-quarter points were two off of Chauncey Billups' franchise record of 24.[46] With two blocks against the Charlotte Hornets on December 3, Towns established a new Timberwolves record with his 27th straight game with at least one blocked shot.[47] On December 17, he had 41 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a 111–109 overtime loss to the Houston Rockets.[48] On December 28, he recorded his first career triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 105–103 loss to the Denver Nuggets.[49] On January 19, 2017, he recorded 37 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in a 104–101 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.[50] Three days later, he had 32 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks in a 111–108 win over the Denver Nuggets. He became just the second player in franchise history to have consecutive games with at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists—Kevin Garnett did it five times.[51] On February 25, 2017, he had 37 points and 22 rebounds in a 142–130 loss to Houston.[52] On March 8, 2017, he had 29 points and 14 rebounds in a 107–91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Towns had his 100th career double-double in the win, becoming the second-youngest player in league history to reach that mark, behind only Dwight Howard.[53] Five days later, he was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, March 6 through Sunday, March 12.[54] For the week, Towns averaged 29.0 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 37.7 minutes per game while shooting 63.3 percent (38-for-60) from the field. Minnesota went 2–1 on the week, highlighted by wins over the NBA's #1 seed (Golden State) and the West's #5 seed (L.A. Clippers).[55] On April 11, 2017, he had 26 points and 12 rebounds in a 100–98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Towns surpassed Kevin Love during the game to set a franchise record for points in a season.[56] Towns made NBA history in 2016–17 by becoming the only player to have at least 2,000 points (2,061), 1,000 rebounds (1,007) and 100 3-pointers (101) in a season.[57]

2017–18 season[edit]

On November 15, 2017, Towns had 26 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota on the night he turned 22, helping the Timberwolves end a 12-game losing streak to the San Antonio Spurs with a 98–86 victory.[58] Towns finished in the top 10 in almost every statistical category in NBA history compiled prior to the player's 22nd birthday. He ranked eighth in points, third in rebounds and second in double-doubles (124), trailing only Dwight Howard (169).[58] Towns subsequently earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors for games played from Monday, November 13 through Sunday, November 19.[59] On December 14, 2017 against the Sacramento Kings, Towns had 30 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and five blocks, joining Kevin Garnett as the only Wolves players to collect 30+ points, 10+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 5+ blocks in a single game.[60] On December 31, 2017, he had 18 points, 14 rebounds and a career high-tying six blocks in a 107–90 win over the Indiana Pacers.[61] A day later, he recorded his 30th double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds in a 114–96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.[62] On January 5, 2018, he recorded 25 points and a career-high 23 rebounds in a 91–84 loss to the Boston Celtics.[63] On January 12, 2018, Towns fell one assist shy of his second career triple-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 118–108 victory over the New York Knicks.[64] On January 23, 2018, he was named a Western Conference All-Star reserve.[60]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

2015–16 Minnesota 82 82 32.0 .542 .341 .811 10.5 2.0 .7 1.7 18.3
2016–17 Minnesota 82 82 37.0 .542 .367 .832 12.3 2.7 .7 1.3 25.1
Career 164 164 34.5 .542 .361 .824 11.4 2.3 .7 1.5 21.7


  1. ^ Karl Towns of St. Joseph (Met.) is The Star-Ledger boys basketball state Player of the Year, 2013-14, NJ.com, March 30, 2014
  2. ^ Karl-Anthony Towns taken No.1 by Wolves; Tyus Jones acquired in trade with Cavaliers, Star Tribune, June 26, 2015
  3. ^ a b "Towns' parents separable, if only for UK games". courier-journal.com. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ Parker, Brandon (July 24, 2012). "Summer school, Karl Towns Jr., 16, improved significantly playing for the Dominican Republic". ESPN. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ Pompey, Keith. "A towering hoops talent – and only in eighth grade", The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 29, 2011. Accessed December 20, 2012. "The Piscataway, N.J., native won't turn 16 until Nov. 15. He's a straight A eighth grader at Theodore Schor Middle School. Towns did, however, repeat the seventh grade after transferring from Our Lady of Fatima School two years ago."
  6. ^ "Karl-Anthony Towns". njsportsheroes.com. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
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  8. ^ a b Parker, Brandon. "Towns Jr. going global; N.J. native, 16, will play for the Dominican Republic during Olympic qualifying", ESPN, June 18, 2012. Accessed December 20, 2012. "But Towns is much more than a charismatic guy with a pair of size 20 shoes. For one, the rising sophomore helped his St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.) team to a state title this winter before taking the No. 1 spot in the recently released ESPN 25. Even more impressively, Towns' clout reached international status in May when he was named to the Dominican Republic National Team that will attempt to qualify for the London Olympics in July."
  9. ^ Braziller, Zach. "Towns looms as New Jersey's new hoops stud", New York Post, October 27, 2012. Accessed December 21, 2012. "He has taken visits to Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky and played on the Dominican Republic National Team, coached by Kentucky's John Calipari, in the London Olympics."
  10. ^ Telep, Dave. "Karl Towns Jr. commits to Kentucky", ESPN, December 4, 2012. Accessed December 20, 2012. "Previously the nation's No. 1 sophomore in the 2015 ESPN 25, the 6-foot-11 Towns also announced he intends to reclassify to the junior class and graduate a year earlier than expected. He slides into the No. 3 ranking in the 2014 ESPN 60."
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  13. ^ Schwadron, Abe (July 17, 2014). "KARL TOWNS: THE ANTENNA Q+A". antennamag.com. Retrieved April 3, 2015. 
  14. ^ Karl-Anthony Towns Sports-Reference, Sports-Reference, June 26, 2015
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  16. ^ Court Review Player to Watch: Karl-Anthony Towns
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  18. ^ "The AP released their All-American teams on Monday". NBCSports.com. March 30, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Niang, Hield Earn NABC All-America Honors" (Press release). Big 12 Conference. March 30, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2015. 
  20. ^ Linton, Chance (March 9, 2015). "Sporting News releases 2014-2015 All-American Team". 247sports.com. Archived from the original on March 9, 2015. 
  21. ^ Karl-Anthony Towns is the NBA's best prospect since LeBron James
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  23. ^ "Timberwolves Sign 2015 NBA Draft Picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones". NBA.com. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Wolves edge Lakers 112-111 in first game since Flip's death". NBA.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
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  28. ^ "Blazers come back from 17 down again to beat Wolves". NBA.com. December 5, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Martin, Towns lift Timberwolves over Lakers, 123-122 in OT". NBA.com. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Parsons leads Mavericks to 106-94 overtime win over Wolves". NBA.com. January 20, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Hood, Favors lead Jazz over Timberwolves 103-90". NBA.com. January 29, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Kristaps Porzingis Named January Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month". NBA.com. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
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  34. ^ "Karl-Anthony Towns Drops Career-High 35 on Toronto". YouTube.com. February 10, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Stepping Up For The Big Men, Towns Wins Skills Challenge". NBA.com. February 13, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
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  40. ^ "Harden, Howard keep Rockets alive with win over Wolves". NBA.com. April 11, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016. 
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  47. ^ "Towns, Timberwolves battle back to top Hornets 125-120 in OT". ESPN.com. December 3, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016. 
  48. ^ "Rockets rally for 10th straight win, stun Wolves in OT". ESPN.com. December 17, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  49. ^ "Nuggets overcome Towns' triple-double to edge Timberwolves". ESPN.com. December 28, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
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  53. ^ "Towns, Rubio lift Timberwolves to 107-91 win over Clippers". ESPN.com. March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  54. ^ "John Wall, Karl-Anthony Towns named Players of the Week". NBA.com. March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  56. ^ "Oladipo lifts Russ-less Thunder over Wolves, 100-98". ESPN.com. April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  57. ^ "Harden's triple-double helps Rockets over Wolves 123-118". ESPN.com. April 12, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  58. ^ a b "Towns, Wolves stop 12-game slide vs. Spurs with 98-86 win". ESPN.com. November 15, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  59. ^ "KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS NAMED WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK". NBA.com. November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017. 
  60. ^ a b "JIMMY BUTLER AND KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS NAMED NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STARS". NBA.com. January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018. 
  61. ^ "Butler scores 26, Timberwolves beat slumping Pacers 107-90". ESPN.com. December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  62. ^ "Butler scores 28 points; Timberwolves beat Lakers 114-96". ESPN.com. January 1, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2018. 
  63. ^ "Marcus Smart scores 18, Boston tops Minnesota 91-84". ESPN.com. January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018. 
  64. ^ "Towns' near triple-double pushes Wolves past Knicks, 118-108". ESPN.com. January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

External links[edit]