Blogs: Basketball

Christina M. Tapper

Versatile Big Man Karl-Anthony Towns is Ready for Primetime

karl-anthony towns primetime kentucky wildcats

You may know him as the skilled rim protector who is getting ready for the NBA. But 12 years ago, players on the Piscataway (New Jersey) Tech High School boys varsity basketball team knew Karl-Anthony Towns as the seven-year-old whose free throw shooting determined whether or not they would end their three-hour practices with sprints. Towns, who participated in the team's drills after school, was tasked with making seven consecutive free throws by his father, Karl Sr., who was the team's coach. If little Karl missed, the players had to run up and down the court seven times. "I was making more than I was missing. But there were some days I did miss a lot," Towns laughingly remembers. "It was bad for the team."
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2015 NBA Draft: Winners of the Draft

  • Hoophead
  • Shehan Jeyarajah
  • June 26, 2015, 1:39 PM

2015 nba draft winners

The 2015 NBA Draft took place on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In all, 60 different players heard their name called and two dozen walked across the stage to shake hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. 

Now the anticipation is over and the real work begins. Each team hopes the new addition to its roster will be the missing piece to a championship puzzle. 

Here’s a look at the biggest winners of the draft. 
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2015 NBA Draft: Karl-Anthony Towns Goes First Overall

  • Hoophead
  • Associated Press
  • June 26, 2015, 7:19 AM

karl-anthony towns timberwolves nba draft

NEW YORK (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns with the first pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.

The Timberwolves went for the freshman center in their first time owning the No. 1 pick. They can add him to a young roster featuring Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, who was picked first last year by Cleveland and later dealt to Minnesota in the Kevin Love trade.

"I'm going to go in right away and be as versatile as I can be," Towns said. "That's the one thing I want Timberwolves fans to know, is I'm coming with a winning attitude, and I want to win, I don't want individual success."
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2015 NBA Draft: What to Watch For

  • Hoophead
  • Shehan Jeyarajah
  • June 25, 2015, 4:38 PM

2015 nba draft what to watch for

The 2015 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. For college basketball fans, it’s a time to see former stars move on to the next level. For NBA fans, it is a step toward the future.

Especially in recent years, the draft has become a spectacle for fans of all leanings. Whether or not your favorite team is on the clock, there is something to watch.

Here’s a quick look at things to watch during the 2015 NBA Draft.
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2015 NBA Draft: Preparing for Draft Day

  • Hoophead
  • Shehan Jeyarajah
  • June 25, 2015, 11:56 AM

2015 nba draft prep

Later today, 60 dreams of becoming a pro basketball player will be realized at the 2015 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

But while fans get to see the finished products walk on stage, hundreds of hours of preparation goes into making dreams a reality. 

Most potential first-round picks declare for the NBA draft in April. That gives them only two short months until the NBA draft on June 25. In that time, players have to transition from being regular college students to professionals. 

“The process is crazy,” former Arkansas big man Bobby Portis said. “I’ve never been away from my mom or outside of Arkansas this long. I just have to remember, every kid doesn’t get to experience this.” 
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2015 NBA Draft Media Day: Prospects on Prospects

  • Hoophead
  • Connor Mellas
  • June 24, 2015, 6:16 PM

The top NBA prospects gathered in Manhattan today to speak with the media ahead of tomorrow night’s draft. But for many of the soon-to-be-pros, the event doubled as a high-profile reunion between former teammates, old friends, and long-time rivals.

Here’s what a few of the future NBA-ers had to say about each other:

nba draft 2015 justise winslow jahil okafor

Justise Winslow (Duke, forward) on Jahlil Okafor (Duke, center):

“Over the past four or so years, getting to know him, getting really close with him, Team USA and then you go to Duke and become brothers, become champions… It’s just been fun, having someone with a very common experience as you coming through the same situation and going through the same experience. It makes it a lot easier, just having someone that you know so well here.
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Brian Yancelson

NBA Prospect Denzel Livingston is Ready For the Next Level

denzel livingston nba draft

During a fifth-grade game against his childhood friend, Denzel Livingston discovered his talent as a shooter. It had been a down game for Livingston, but now he just needed to find a way to get the ball in the hoop one final time. 

As the clock wound down, a lucky bounce put the ball in Livingston’s hands. He made the shot, and, as Denzel’s older brother Jarel recalls, “We all went crazy. We just picked him up and ran all over the court.”

Last December, a 21-year-old Livingston took part in a similar celebration when his tiny university, San Antonio’s Incarnate Word, flew into Lincoln, Nebraska, and defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Ten Conference. The stunning victory made ESPN's Sportscenter and put UIW — which two years ago wasn't even a Division I program — on the map nationally. 

Now Livingston hopes the momentum he picked up as a senior in college, when he ranked fourth in the nation in scoring, will be enough to get his name called at the NBA draft on June 25 in Brooklyn.
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