- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Hometown (Last School)
- Piscataway, N.J. (St. Joseph)
- November 15, 1995
Karl-Anthony Towns was born in Edison, New Jersey, on November 15, 1995, to Karl Towns Sr. and Jacqueline Cruz. 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. At Theodore Schor, he repeated seventh grade in order to gain an extra year of development. 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.
In high school, Towns claimed the 2014 Gatordate National Player of the Year honor. He was also a three-time first-team All-State selection. Towns led St. Joseph to a 30-2 record and a title at the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions. He averaged 20.9 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 6.2 blocks per game as a senior. Towns shot 66.1 percent from the field and 82.2 percent from the free-throw line as a senior. He also hit 127 3-pointers over his final three high school seasons. Towns owned a 3.96 high school grade point average. His squad advanced to the Final Four in the Tournament of Champions in each of his final three seasons. On January 6, 2013, Towns recorded a quadruple-double with 16 points, 17 rebounds, 11 blocks, and 11 assists. He recorded a second quadruple-double on January 5, 2014, with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 12 blocks and 10 assists. Towns was a member of the Dominican National Team as a 16-year old and he appeared in both the McDonald’s All-America and Jordan Brand Classic games. He was the No. 4 overall player in the 2014 class per Scout while ranking second at his position. Rivals rated him at No. 5 and second at his position, while ESPN listed him at No. 9 overall and third at his position.
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. He chose Kentucky over Florida, Kansas, Rutgers, and Duke.
In his freshman year, Kentucky used a unique “platoon system” that limited the minutes of each player, and Towns subsequently averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game. He was a consensus Second Team All-American as a freshman and earned NCAA Midwest Most Valuable Player honors after leading the Wildcats to the Final Four. He was tabbed the SEC Freshman of the Year by both the league’s coaches and the AP and was a First-Team All-SEC selection by both the media and the conference coaches. Towns was named First Team All-American by USA Today and also earned Second Team All-America from Sports Illustrated. He was a three-time SEC Freshman of the Week, including two straight honors to start December. Towns tied for the team-high with the most 20-plus point games (two) and most 15-plus point games (eight). He started all 39 games and led the team in blocked shots with 88. He blocked four or more shots in nine games and posted a team-best eight double-doubles. He led the team in rebounding a team-high 18 games and made 81.3 percent of his shots at the foul line, including 30 of his last 34 free throws. On November 14, 2014, Towns opened his career with eight points and eight rebounds at home against Grand Canyon. He impressed against No. 5 Kansas with nine points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and three assists on November 18, 2014. Towns recorded his first career double-double (13 points and 11 rebounds) against UT Arlington on November 25, 2014. On December 7, 2014, he dominated Eastern Kentucky with a game-high-tying 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. He blocked a career-high seven shots at home against Vanderbilt on January 20, 2015. On February 7, 2015, he led a come-from-behind victory at Florida with 19 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Towns notched a double-double (21 points and 11 rebounds) in his first career NCAA Tournament game against Hampton on March 19, 2015. On March 28, 2015, he was virtually unstoppable against No. 8 Notre Dame with a career-high 25-point performance on 10-of-13 shooting. On April 4, 2015, Towns just missed out on a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds in the Final Four loss to No. 3 Wisconsin.
On April 9, 2015, Towns and fellow Kentucky teammates Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, and Willie Cauley-Stein, all declared for the 2015 NBA draft.
Towns 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. He has received three All-Star selections. Towns also won the 2021–22 NBA Three-Point Contest.