Monday, April 14, 2008

Karl Towns, Jr.- He's a Star, and He's Only 12

Karl Towns, Jr. is regarded as one of the best sixth grade ballers in America. Scouting services and college coaches are starting to look at players much younger nowadays, with kids committing to schools before they even reach high school, so it's not as if Towns, Jr. has no competition. Karl's father, Karl Towns, Sr., was a high-caliber basketball player back in his day, playing college ball at Monmouth as one of the nation's best rebounders. Thus, Junior clearly has some basketball in his blood. I spoke to the 5'11 12-year old at the Playaz Spring Fling.

NB: Being in middle school and getting all the national attention that you’ve been getting, is that ever too much for you to handle at such a young age?
KT: A little bit, . . . sometimes I get stressed out, sometimes I just want to pop, sometimes I get pressured a lot by my coaches, but I know [that] they [are] just trying to help me out.

NB: What do you feel is the strongest point of your game?
KT: Probably just . . . my offensive [game]. I’m trying to work on defense, because you always got to try to defend your man as well as you can.

NB: Being so tall at such a young age, how do you think that’s affected you as a basketball player, both positively and negatively?
KT: Well, . . . it hasn’t bothered me as [for] playing basketball, because when my dad [saw] me . . . as a tall kid, . . . after working on big men [skills], I just worked a lot on guard skills, so . . . it was a positive actually.

NB: With you still being in middle school, have you begun thinking about which high school you want to attend, or are you planning [ going to high school] . . . in the public school system? What are you thinking about that?
KT: The high schools I really like are St. Anthony’s [in New Jersey] and . . . St. Patrick’s [in New Jersey]. My good friend [is] Dexter Strickland, so I’m probably going to follow in his footsteps [at St. Patrick’s].

NB: What makes those schools stand out to you, other than Dexter [being at St. Patrick’s]? Is [there] something specific [such as] the coaching, anything that makes St. Anthony’s and St. Pat’s stand out over other schools in the state like St. Benedict’s and Paterson Catholic?
KT: Well, I think St. Pat’s is probably . . . my favorite to go to, because their coaching [is] just really, very good. Kevin Boyle, he’s my [AAU] coach actually, he does a great job with every kid, and he makes every kid feel like he’s getting individual instruction.

NB: What camps do you attend to get your name out publicly?
KT: I attend Hoop Group camps, [and] I attend the adidias . . . Phenom Camp. . . . Really just that’s it.

NB: With your [U-12] AAU team disbanding, where are you playing now?
KT: Well, I play for Team New Jersey ABC still.

NB: You’re playing at an older age group now?
KT: Yeah, I’m playing on [the] 14’s.

NB: What’s it like playing with the older kids?
KT: You got to work harder, the pace is . . . faster, and there’s no breaks out there.

NB: Is there a college [that] growing up you’ve always been rooting for, someplace that has been your dream school?
KT: Well, . . . the college I’ve been really rooting for was Rutgers and Michigan State, and they’ve been really good.

NB: So those are your favorite schools?
KT: Mostly, yeah.

NB: How has it helped you, with your father having played college basketball and being so big in [the] New Jersey hoops scene with Team New Jersey [ABC], . . . for you to understand the processes that are going to be involved for you down the road?
KT: Well, my father, since he’s been playing basketball his whole life, he [is] just a big help for me, he teaches me everything I need to know to get to college and nowadays, . . . college scholarships are just [worth] so much money, you want to make it to college at least.

NB: Is there a player at the college ranks or the NBA games who you try to emulate your game after, who you feel is a good role model for you basketball-wise?
KT: Well, my favorite player in college was--he just got drafted--. . . Kevin Durant. I like how he had an outside game, the inside game.

NB: What position do you currently play?
KT: Well, currently, right now, I play like a small forward.

NB: What do you want to end up playing, or are you comfortable with [wherever] the coaches want to play you?
KT: I really want to play . . . power forward or center. I just want to be able to, . . . if I can, do like Kevin Durant did, and show my outside game at some points.

The class of 2014 stud is primed for success in his basketball career, and he certainly has a lot of time left in it, as he is a mere 12 years of age. Karl Towns, Jr. is a name that will be on the basketball map for years to come. If you want to get a look at Junior in action, check out Team New Jersey ABC's U-14 team in action. The squad is scheduled to be in the Providence Jam Fest from April 25-27, the NJAAU state tournament from May 2-4 and 9-11, Basketball Spotlight Memorial Day Classic on May 23-25, as well as the Sports Academy Fathers Day Festival on June 14. Remember the name Karl Towns, Jr., the kid's for real and he's here to stay.

Note-photo and tournament information are from

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