By LARRY VAUGHT
Karl Towns Sr. knows his son was criticized by some because rather than play the normal AAU circuit, he spent time playing with the Dominican National team. However, in recent all-star games — Jordan Brand Classic, McDonald’s All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit — Karl Towns Jr. got to showcase al he can do.
“I think he did well,” said Towns Sr. “He showed his versatility and what he brings to the table every night is going to be different than you have seen at Kentucky because of his size and ability to pass, shoot the 3, post up. He’s a complete team player and we are looking forward to him getting started at Kentucky soon. He has a lot of skill sets for a 7-footer.
“Because he didn’t play AAU, a lot of people did not get to see him play against elite talent. Then when you see him play, you realize everything you hear about him is believable. He proved in those (all-star) games that he is just as talented as anyone. You hear about the kid, but you want to see him play and a lot of people were impressed by his skill set and what he brings to the game.”
The Kentucky signee was the Star-Ledger New Jersey Player of the Year after leading St. Joseph to the state title again while averaging 21 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots per game.
The player and his father watched every Kentucky game last year.
“Karl said the same thing every day, every game — ‘I can’t wait to get there and I wish I was there now to help them make a (national championship) run.’ He is a team player and loves the sport. He can’t wait to get to Kentucky. He is so anxious for June 9 to get here because he wants to get everything in progress to make the team get going and ring the bell going to work. He wants to help take it to the next level and win a championship at Kentucky.”
The father admits it will be a “transformation” not having his son at home. The two have been working out on the basketball court together since Karl Jr. was about 3 years old.
“There will be adjustments knowing he’s not here this summer. Maybe it will be a good time for me and my wife to do some t hings and spend time together,” Karl Towns Sr. said. “He is leaving us to go to another family. He’s been on the Olympic team. He knows coach Cal. It’s not like he doesn’t know what Kentucky is about. I am just handing him off to the other side of the famil.
“It really won’t be that hard. We won’t be going every day after school to work out for three hours, but there will be people talking to him and coaching him now that know a lot more than I do. But just by how he looks and what player he has become, I think I did a pretty good job with. He’s never been a problem and won’t be at Kentucky. He’s all about team and winning.”