Towns craves title

MEQUON, Wisc. -- When John Calipari first sold Karl Towns on Kentucky, it wasn't because of the program's rich history or a bright future in the NBA. The five-star center wants to win a national championship.

MEQUON, Wisc. -- When John Calipari first sold Karl Towns on Kentucky, it wasn't because of the program's rich history or a bright future in the NBA. The five-star center wants to win a national championship.

Towns remains the lone verbal pledge for the Wildcats' 2014 class, but that may soon change. He hopes those who join him share a common interest.

"I just want people who want to win a national title at Kentucky," Towns said. "Not to go there for the one-and-done process, but to go there and win a title. That's what I'm all about."

With his college decision completed, Towns is focusing on those greater goals: winning championships in the AAU circuit and with his St. Joseph (NJ) High School squad. His personal objective is to win Gatorade Player of the Year honors. However, it's all a part of his dream of making Kentucky a champion again.

Towns fell in love with Kentucky, selecting it over offers from Baylor, Connecticut, Duke, Michigan State, Ohio State, Syracuse and many more. He joked that his fate was decided long before the December announcement.

"My initials are K.A.T., so I must have been born to be a Wildcat," Towns explained. "Big Blue Nation is the best fan base in the whole entire world—NBA, any professional sport, anything, we have the best fan base. I'm just glad to be part of the family. For the rest of my life, I'll be a Kentucky Wildcat."

Long after Towns made his Kentucky commitment official, he still remains close with Calipari. When the head coach was in attendance for Towns' Friday evening game at Summer Jam, it caught his attention. He tried to show off a bit, throwing down a powerful two-handed slam that shook the rim.

The two share a genuine respect for one another, all based on the common goal of winning.

"It has blossomed into a great relationship," Towns said. "It's like having a second father."

The comparisons of Towns to Anthony Davis are natural. Both are versatile 6-foot-10 shot-blockers with immense talent. Towns hopes to forge his own legacy.

"I want to be just me," Towns said. "At the end of the day, if I play the way I can play, I'll be very proud of my life and my accomplishments."

But Towns is looking to share a status with Davis: Kentucky Wildcat national champion.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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