Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

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
Piscataway, New Jersey
Nationality Dominican / American
Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight 244 lb (111 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

Towns was born in Piscataway, New Jersey to an African American father Karl Towns Sr.[1][2] and a Dominican mother Jacqueline Cruz.[2][3] He attended Lake Nelson Seventh-Day Adventist School, he then went to Theodore Schor Middle School after transferring in from Our Lady of Fatima School in 2009.[4] At Theodore Schor, he repeated seventh grade in order to gain an extra year of development.[5] 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.[6]

High school career

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.[7] Towns also led his team to state titles in 2013 and 2014.[6] Towns was selected at the age of 16 to play on the Dominican Republic national basketball team, which represents that nation in international competition.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] Towns graduated from high school with a 3.96 GPA on a 4.5 scale.[6] He was named the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year.[10]

On January 6, 2013, Towns recorded a quadruple-double with 16 points, 17 rebounds, 11 blocks and 11 assists.[11] 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.[12]

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 
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

In his freshman year, Kentucky used a unique "platoon system" that limited the minutes of each player. Towns subsequently averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game.[13] Towns was widely projected to be picked as a top selection of the lottery in the 2015 NBA draft.[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]

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

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

Professional career

Minnesota Timberwolves (2015–present)

2015–16 season: Rookie of the Year

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. On June 25, 2015, Towns was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.[21] He signed his rookie scale contract with the Timberwolves on July 7,[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]

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.[27] Two games later, on December 9, he recorded 26 points and 14 rebounds in a 123–122 overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] On February 2, he was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January—his third consecutive rookie of the month honor.[31] On February 10, he scored a career-high 35 points in a 117–112 win over the Toronto Raptors.[32][33] 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.[34] On February 27, he had a 30-point, 15-rebound game in a 112–110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[35] 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.[36]

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.[37] 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.[38] 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.[39] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42] He also earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors.[43]

2016–17 season

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.[44] 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.[45]

NBA career statistics

  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

2015–16 Minnesota 82 82 32.0 .543 .341 .811 10.5 2.0 .7 1.7 18.3
Career 82 82 32.0 .543 .341 .811 10.5 2.0 .7 1.7 18.3



Year Title Role Notes
2015 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Himself Played in a game with Kevin Spacey called "Phone Booth" (August 14, 2015)[46]
2016 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself Played a game called "Make it for a Million" (June 6, 2016)[47]


  1. Karl-Anthony Towns taken No.1 by Wolves; Tyus Jones acquired in trade with Cavaliers, Star Tribune, June 26, 2015
  2. 1 2 "Towns' parents separable, if only for UK games". courier-journal.com. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  3. Parker, Brandon (July 24, 2012). "Summer school, Karl Towns Jr., 16, improved significantly playing for the Dominican Republic". ESPN. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  4. 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."
  5. "Karl-Anthony Towns". njsportsheroes.com. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 Schonbrun, Zach (April 3, 2015). "Two Parts to His Name, but Karl-Anthony Towns Is One Complete Player". New York Times. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  7. 1 2 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."
  8. 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."
  9. 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."
  10. Braziller, Zach (April 1, 2015). "Karl-Anthony Towns: 'Renaissance man' to Calipari's unassuming assassin". New York Post. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  11. Smith, Cameron (January 17, 2013). "Prep superstar Karl Towns Jr. records quadruple double in win". Yahoo.com. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  12. Schwadron, Abe (July 17, 2014). "KARL TOWNS: THE ANTENNA Q+A". antennamag.com. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  13. Karl-Anthony Towns Sports-Reference, Sports-Reference, June 26, 2015
  14. Kilgore, Adam (December 16, 2014). "Drowning in stars, Kentucky Wildcats thriving with platoon system". Washington Post. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  15. Braziller, Zach (November 8, 2014). "The Kentucky forward who might be next year's No. 1 pick". New York Post. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  16. Court Review Player to Watch: Karl-Anthony Towns
  17. Schonbrun, Zach (June 22, 2015). "Pursuing Perfection From Atop the N.B.A. Draft Class". New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  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. "Timberwolves Select Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns with the First Overall Pick in the 2015 NBA Draft". NBA.com. June 25, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  22. "Timberwolves Sign 2015 NBA Draft Picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones". NBA.com. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  23. "Wolves edge Lakers 112-111 in first game since Flip's death". NBA.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  24. "Towns, Timberwolves beat Nuggets, ready for Flip's memorial". NBA.com. October 30, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  25. "Karl-Anthony Towns 2015-16 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  26. "Timberwolves Forward/Center Karl-Anthony Towns Named KIA NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month". NBA.com. December 3, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  27. "Blazers come back from 17 down again to beat Wolves". NBA.com. December 5, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  28. "Martin, Towns lift Timberwolves over Lakers, 123-122 in OT". NBA.com. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  29. "Parsons leads Mavericks to 106-94 overtime win over Wolves". NBA.com. January 20, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  30. "Hood, Favors lead Jazz over Timberwolves 103-90". NBA.com. January 29, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  31. "Kristaps Porzingis Named January Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month". NBA.com. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  32. "Timberwolves come back from 18 down to stun Raptors, 117-112". NBA.com. February 10, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  33. "Karl-Anthony Towns Drops Career-High 35 on Toronto". YouTube.com. February 10, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  34. "Stepping Up For The Big Men, Towns Wins Skills Challenge". NBA.com. February 13, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  35. "Wiggins' free throws give Wolves 112-110 win over Pelicans". NBA.com. February 27, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  36. "Timberwolves Forward/Center Karl-Anthony Towns Named KIA NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February". NBA.com. March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  37. "T-Wolves win 132-129 in 2OTs to hurt Wiz playoff hopes". NBA.com. March 25, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  38. "Timberwolves follow Golden State stunner with win over Kings". NBA.com. April 7, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  39. "Harden, Howard keep Rockets alive with win over Wolves". NBA.com. April 11, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  40. "Timberwolves blast Pelicans in Mitchell's final game". NBA.com. April 13, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  41. "Karl-Anthony Towns Is The NBA's 2015-2016 Rookie of the Year". YouTube.com. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  42. "Minnesota Timberwolves Forward/Center Karl-Anthony Towns Wins 2015-16 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award in Unanimous Vote". NBA.com. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  43. "Wolves' Towns, Knicks' Porzingis lead 2015-16 NBA All-Rookie teams". NBA.com. May 19, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  44. "Porzingis, Knicks outlast Towns, Wolves 106-104". ESPN.com. November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  45. "Towns, Timberwolves battle back to top Hornets 125-120 in OT". ESPN.com. December 3, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  46. Young, Lindsey M. (August 17, 2015). "Karl-Anthony Towns Joins Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show". MNSports. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  47. Eccher, Marino (June 6, 2016). "Karl-Anthony Towns tried a $1M full-court shot on 'Jimmy Kimmel.' Did he make it?". Retrieved June 22, 2016.

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