It's not uncommon to see 6-foot 10-inch kids at AAU or high school basketball tournaments these days, just like it's not uncommon to see those same kids launching shots from 25-feet away. On this day at the AlbanyGym Rat AAU Tournament, the big kid launching 25-foot shots was not missing. Shot after shot after shot during a pre-game routine Karl Towns, Jr., playing for his Sport U/Team IZOD AAU team, did not miss. Now, here was the best part; Karl was only in the 8th grade and was one of the hardest working kids in a gym full of aspiring college basketball players.
Karl Towns Jr is one of the top prospects in the class of 2015
Today, Karl Towns Jr. stands all of 6-foot 10 and a half-inches, wears a size 20 sneaker, while suiting up for St. Joseph of Metuchen in New Jersey. Towns attended the prestigious Five-Star Basketball Camp this summer and earned a birth in the Orange & White All Star Game, joining his idols in receiving that honor.
"When I started to get pretty good, my mom wanted me to go to Five-Star Camp; especially when we saw the LeBron documentary," Towns told me in Albany last Spring. "It's a one of our dreams."
Towns did attend Five-Star Camp, along with several other camps and tournaments throughout the summer where he cemented himself as the premier player in his class; however he is far more than just a basketball player. He sports a 4.3 GPA in the classroom, is president of his Freshman class and is reported to have a 4 handicap on the golf course. Oh yeah, he is a pitcher too; who can reach in the low 80's with his fastball already. 247Sports spoke to Karl recently about his game.
247Sports:What's your typical day like basketball wise now?
Karl Towns Jr.: Well my day consist of a three hour practice which includes skills and drills , followed by film study and then my typical 500 shots and working on my handle. The shooting and dribbling is very important to me but working on my dribbling is my priority.
247Sports: What was your dream school growing up?
KT: When I was young I always was a big Florida fan and loved the locals like Rutgers and Seton Hall being I am a New Jersey kid. I have always felt that we had the best basketball so I would keep them on my list, but when i was young I would say Florida. I was a big Tim Tebow fan and loved watching the Gators when they had Joakim Noah and Al Horford my fellow Dominican.
247Sports: What colleges have expressed interest in you so far?
KT: The following schools have shown me interest: Kentucky, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Baylor, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Providence, Villanova, Cincinnati, Northwestern, Connecticut, St. Johns, Virginia, UCLA, Temple, St. Josephs, Cleveland State, Wagner, Maryland, Michigan State and being I have a a 4.3 grade point average a lot of the Ivy Leagues.
247Sports: Who are your favorite player?
KT: My favorite player is Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma Thunder. I have been a big supporter of his game for years, even when he was at Texas. People say I mirror his game but I just want to be the type of player he is and maybe one day I will be the NBA All-Star M.V.P. My true idol has always been Len Bias of Maryland. He was the model player who had strength, finesse and played the game at a high level. These two players have been my inspiration from day one.
247Sports: Whats your best basketball memory?
KT: My biggest basketball memory would be the first middle-school kid to play on the U-18 Dominican National Team. The experience was tremendous. I had one of the best coaches in Oliver Antiqua who coaches at St. Raymond's in New York and some of the best teammates around. The chance to represent my mothers homeland of the Dominican Republic was tremendous as her family, including my grandmother, got the chance to witness this moment with me.
247Sports: How do you describe yourself as a player? Strengths, Weaknesses?
KT: As a player I see myself as multi-dimensional. I can shoot the ball well for a 6'-10 and a half big man I mean great range, I can handle the ball like a guard and have a great basketball IQ especially when it comes to making the perfect pass to a teammate. I have improved my defense and have become a great rebounder and shot blocker. I consider this my strengths. I need to improve my speed and get my weight up. As a freshman I battled well but once I get my body stronger I will even have more to gain and use against stronger opponents.
247Sports: What part of for game are you working to improve right now the most?
KT: I am working on improving my strength and skill sets. I want to become a complete player.
247Sports: What's your favorite workout drill/exercise?
KT: My favorite drill is the shooting drill 36 were I have to get at least 30 every time or do pushups. I love all the skill sets for dribbling and I love the box out drill. These are the drills necessary to be successful in this game.
Norman Waterman of Five Star Basketball contributed to this article