"The league ain't going to be ready for me": Karl-Anthony Towns recalls his high school freshman promise to tackle the competition

Karl-Anthony Towns recalls his high school freshman promise to tackle the competition
Karl-Anthony Towns recalls his high school freshman promise to tackle the competition

In 2012, Karl-Anthony Towns was part of the Dominican Republic basketball squad that took on the USA's 'Redeem Team.' Towns's mother was Dominican and some famous players on the US roster were LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony, with Mike Krzyzewski as the coach.

Karl-Anthony Towns recalled this moment during his appearance on Paul George's "Podcast with P." George asked KAT about an incident that made him realize he might have a chance in the NBA.

"I think for me it was when I was a freshman in high school and I was playing against the Dream Team V2 with Kobe and all of them," Towns said. "I played them in Vegas, actually. When I played that game, you know you're a young kid, you're playing against literally the best players in the world and you know everyone's in their prime.
"When I had that I was like nah, when I get to the NBA I'm gonna be a problem. It wasn't even about making it anymore it was about when I get there you know. ... The league ain't going to be ready for me."

Karl-Anthony Towns playing for the Dominican Republic also had an impact on his college choice as the then-Kentucky coach, John Calipari, was also the coach for the national team. Towns and his squad also practiced in Lexington.

John Calipari and his work in making Karl-Anthony Towns NBA-ready

When Karl-Anthony Towns joined the Kentucky Wildcats in 2014, he came off of winning three state titles at his St. Johns high school team. While he had great stat lines, then Wildcats coach John Calipari felt like Towns was too nice to play with the pros.

"I want him to be the best big man in the country by the end of the season," Calipari said (via Bleacher Report). "I'm not settling for anything less because I know he can do it. But he can't think that being a nice guy is going to get him off the hook.
"I'm pushing Karl to grow up fast. If I didn't think he could take the coaching, I'd approach it differently. But I know he can. He wants to be special. By the end of the year I hope he's thought of as the best big man in the country where it's not even a question."

It is safe to say that John Calipari succeeded in the task as Karl-Anthony Towns was picked first overall in the 2015 NBA draft. He averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game.

Also Read: Top 10 players under John Calipari who made it to the NBA ft. Anthony Davis

What could Alabama basketball's 2024-25 starting lineup look like? Find out here

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