Karl Anthony-Towns has had a highly decorated basketball career, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. State championships in high school. Gatorade National Player of the Year. Five-star recruit, signed to play at the nation’s most prestigious program. (Nearly) undefeated in his college career. #1 draft pick. Unanimous Rookie of the Year. That list will only continue to grow as his NBA career progresses.
Though the future is bright for Towns, he wasn’t always expected to take the basketball world by storm, at least in the eyes of his peers.
In high school, an AAU coach once told him that he wouldn’t find success playing basketball. Instead, it would be two of his teammates to make names for themselves, or so he thought. Check out this excerpt from Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Abrams.
Motivation and confidence. The two go hand in hand for Towns. One fuels the other. He still recalls the AAU coach who told him that two of his teammates would be the ones who would go far in basketball–not him.
“I’m always that confident in myself,” Towns said. “I’ve been brought down by a lot of people in my life, telling me I wasn’t good enough to do this, good enough to do that. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder, but I’ve never let that chip be bigger than my heart. Whoever counted me out, I always thought I was ahead of the game. It’s probably more of a testament to where I’m from. The confidence level in my area where I lived in New Jersey is off the charts. If we don’t have real confidence, then we have fake confidence and we’ll use it. I definitely think I’m one that has real confidence.”
After proving the doubters wrong, he found himself averaging a double-double in his rookie year, with most expecting even bigger things in his sophomore campaign, with All-Pro and All-Star accolades certainly not out of question.
According to Towns, a good portion of this success can be credited to the help of Kevin Garnett, both on and off the court.
Towns had this to say about the future Hall of Fame forward:
“Without him, I don’t think my learning curve could have been expedited the way it was,” Towns said. “He taught me so much in such little time. It’s very easy to learn things and grasp things easily when you have such a great teacher and mentor.”
The article goes on to discuss Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau molding such a such a young, yet talent-filled roster, mourning the loss of the late NBA-great Flip Saunders, Towns not being surprised by his impressive rookie campaign, and the progression he expects his Timberwolves team to make in year two.
Read the entire piece here on Bleacher Report.