• Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Ron Rivera
  • Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Alfonzo Gonzales
  • Jose Miguel Sokoloff
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Adriano Espaillat

By ‘LLERO Editors

How do you top representing your country on their national team, playing for college royalty and going first in the NBA draft all before you’re old enough to have a beer? Well if you’re Karl-Anthony Towns you go out and win NBA Rookie of the Year.

Hailed as the best prospect since LeBron James, it may seem as if Towns was destined for basketball greatness. Raised in Piscataway, New Jersey, Karl-Anthony got his whistle wet for the game from his father, Karl Towns Sr., who played basketball for Monmouth University and coached the basketball team at Piscataway Technical High School, where Towns Jr., practiced with the junior varsity team as a mere fifth grader.

The practice clearly paid off. During his high school years at St. Joseph’s High School, Towns led his team to state titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014. On two occasions having quadruple-double games. Yes, double figures, in scoring, rebounds, assists and blocked shots. Talk about a one-man army. Then at the tender age of 16, the seven-foot center made the Dominican National Team, which led to his recruitment by college basketball elite coach John Calipari at the University of Kentucky. Yet, after just one year at Kentucky, Towns opted to try his hand at the NBA. A move considered by many to be quite a risk, especially for a player with just one year of college ball under his belt.

The risk has paid off. In 2015 Towns was drafted first in the NBA draft, selected as the next center for the Minnesota Timberwolves. In his rookie year he started in all 82 games for the Timberwolves. Averaging a double-double with 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
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The effort and results did not go unnoticed by the league. It earned Towns Unanimous Rookie of the Year and NBA All-Rookie First Team honors. But, the scariest thing of all, is that Towns is just getting started!

Image Credits:
© National Basketball Association/Marc Serota
© National Basketball Association/David Sherman