Congratulations to Karl-Anthony Towns, the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year! The Minnesota Timberwolves big man won the prestigious honor. While celebrating Karl-Anthony’s victory, here are 5 things to know about the new Rookie of the Year.
Karl-Anthony Towns, 20, has just put the NBA on notice. The star player of the Minnesota Timberwolves ended his phenomenal rookie season by winning Rookie of the Year. As Karl-Anthony gets ready to bask in his victory, learn more about the young man considered to be one of the best centers in the NBA.
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1. Karl-Anthony is used to being No. 1.
Karl-Anthony entered the 2015 NBA Draft, after just one year with the University of Kentucky. During his brief time with Kentucky, Karl-Anthony won SEC Freshman of the Year. However, it seems Karl-Anthony couldn’t wait to be a NBA superstar and the NBA was eager to have him. After Karl-Anthony declared himself eligible, he was the No. 1 overall draft pick, going to the Timberwolves.
2. He may be beloved in Minnesota but he’s a Jersey boy.
When Karl-Anthony scored a college career-high 25 points against Notre Dame in 2015, the cheers could be heard all the way back to the Garden State. Karl-Anthony was born in Piscataway, New Jersey and began his basketball career at St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, according to NJ.com. Jersey fans must have felt proud as he averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game in the 2015-16 season, per Bleacher Report.
3. He and Steph Curry have something in common.
Karl-Anthony won the Rookie of the Year award unanimously, earning all 130 first place votes, according to SB Nation. Steph Curry, 28, also won the NBA MVP unanimously, the first time in NBA history. Karl-Anthony’s win is also historic, as it’s the first time since 1974 that players from the same team won the award in back-to-back season. In 2015, Karl-Anthony’s teammate Andrew Wiggins, 21, was named ROTY.
4. He almost played in the Olympics when he was just 16 years old.
Karl-Anthony’s mother is from the Dominican Republic, which makes him eligible to play for that country’s national team, according to Heavy.com. He was named to the Dominica Republic’s basketball Olympic Squad when he was just 16-years-old, but sadly, the team did not quality for the 2012 Olympics.
5. Karl-Anthony has a huge heart.
Karl-Anthony proved himself to be someone to cheer for in 2012, per Fox Sports. That year, his school honored Marine Cpl. Kevin Reinhard, a St. Joe alum, who was killed in Afghanistan. During a game with rival Perth Amboy High School, Karl-Anthony scored 25 points and stopped shooting. When asked why he stopped trying to score, Karl-Anthony said, “I want to honor the boy who passed away. He would’ve been 25 years old. So I knew I had 25 points, and I had to stop.”
Are you glad Karl-Anthony was named Rookie of the Year, HollywoodLifers?