24 Apr Champions Among Us: Karl-Anthony Towns
When he was just 16 years old, Karl-Anthony Towns made his first appearance at REED Academy as a volunteer. Karl-Anthony was already receiving national accolades for his prowess on the basketball court, but as he donated his time to REED, it was also evident he was a compassionate young man who saw the importance of helping others and giving back to his community.
Karl-Anthony attended St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, New Jersey and was the star center on the basketball team during his entire high school career. He continued his pursuit of academics and his love for basketball at the University of Kentucky, where he attended for just one year before becoming the first overall draft pick in the 2015 NBA draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves and the NBA recognized a champion, just like REED did. Karl-Anthony went on to be named the Rookie of the Year for the 2015-16 season.
While Karl-Anthony’s passion for basketball continued, his love for volunteering also remained strong. Karl-Anthony possesses a unique talent for bringing out the best in individuals on the spectrum, and he actively looks for ways to assist those who he sees need help. He inspired his parents, Karl and Jacqueline Towns, to create the KAT Team Foundation, an organization created to increase literacy in underserved communities throughout the United States through a scholarship fund for young adults. Over the past few months, KAT Team’s Foundation and REED Foundation for Autism and have teamed up to create awareness and raise funds for autism.
Karl-Anthony has used his newly found celebrity to help spread information about autism and he has continued to lend a helping hand wherever possible. At REED Academy, he has spent time in preschool classes, where he has read stories, played board games, and shot hoops with students. Towns has even provided REED Academy students with tickets to a Minnesota Timberwolves game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. His continued support is greatly appreciated by the entire REED community.
REED Academy students and staff are huge fans of Karl-Anthony and are looking forward to watching his NBA career continue to soar. When it comes to autism, Karl-Anthony says, “KAT Team Foundation is proud to be partnering with PledgeIt and REED Foundation for Autism to raise money for education and underprivileged youth and children affected by autism. We believe in the mission of REED Foundation for Autism to support individuals with autism throughout their lifespan to learn, live, work and thrive in their community.” REED Foundation for Autism and KAT Team Foundation are extremely hopeful for their future in fundraising together for a great cause.
Throughout the month of April, as a way to commemorate National Autism Awareness Month, REED Foundation for Autism has been honoring the Champions Among Us, a four-part series featuring some of the heroes within our communities. These team members, partners and philanthropists are passionate contributors in promoting acceptance and inclusion for all individuals on the spectrum.