Not many high school players can say they have taken the floor in international competition against Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
But St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.)
senior Karl Towns Jr.
got that opportunity on July 12, 2012 in Las Vegas while representing the Dominican Republic in an Olympic tune-up for the United States.
Just 16 at the time, Towns made more than a token appearance by logging nine minutes, draining a 3-pointer and pulling down two rebounds.
Towns has taken an accelerated approach in the classroom as well. The multi-skilled, 6-foot-11, 240-pound center will graduate from St. Joseph in just three years and is an honors student.
A future Kentucky Wildcat, Towns has pulled in plenty of honors during his decorated high school career.
As a freshman, he averaged a double-double while helping the Falcons go 28-2 with a trip to the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions. He was named to MaxPreps.com's Freshman All-American Team for his efforts.
In the midst of his would-be sophomore year, Towns announced he was fast-tracking his high school timeline and re-classifying from the 2015 class to 2014.
And what a pseudo-junior year it was. The Falcon big man teamed with talented teammates like Marques Townes
, Wade Baldwin
and Raven Owen
to lead the program to the Tournament of Champions title game and a 27-5 mark. Once again he was honored by MaxPreps with a spot on the Junior All-American Team.
It's been more of the same this year for Towns and St. Joseph, who get another crack at the TOC title Monday against East Side (Newark). The Falcons are 28-2 in 2013-14 with their only losses coming to national No. 2 Montverde Academy (Fla.) and storied DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.).