Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Special to ZAGSBLOGKarl Towns already has a Middlesex County championship as well as a New Jersey Non-Public A State championship in his freshman season at St. Joseph-Metuchen.
What could possibly top accolades such as those?
The only answer is a possible Olympic appearance.
The 6-foot-11 high school freshman was named Tuesday to the Dominican Republic Senior National Team roster by head coach John Calipari.
SNY.tv was the first to report earlier this month that Towns, who averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks last season, could potentially make the Dominican Senior Team.
Towns, whose mother, Jacqueline, is Dominican, has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity should his team qualify for the Olympics as Towns would be going with the team to the London Olympics in August to play on the world’s stage.
Calipari and the Dominican Republic must still qualify for the Olympics when they play Korea and Russia in pool play of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament July 2-8 in Caracas, Venezuela.
Whether or not the Dominican team qualifies, the team is still set to scrimmage Team USA July 12 in Las Vegas.
Should Towns get in the game, he faces the possibility of playing against his favorite player, Kevin Durant, which for Towns, would be a dream come true.
“It’s always been my dream just to meet Kevin but now not only will I have met him but to stand toe to toe with my idol on a basketball court would be unreal,” Towns said.
With Towns on the roster, Calipari gains a one-up in his recruitment. The Kentucky coach will get to coach Towns at an early stage which will definitely play a roll in Towns’ recruitment.
Towns will also have the opportunity to play with and learn from NBA stars such as Al Horford (if healthy) and Francisco Garcia as well as Jersey-born Charlie Villanueva.
“When I first got the call that I made the team I felt like I was a kid in a candy store,” Towns said. “The possibility of playing in the Olympics shows that I have to work even harder to make my dreams come true. Maybe being able to play in the Olympics rather than sitting at home and watching it on TV is motivation enough but just the thought of participating is something you wish to happen your whole life.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.