Towns embarks on Kentucky adventure
The 2.11m power forward, who represented the Dominicans at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) and at last year's FIBA Americas Championship, will run onto the floor for his first official game when the Gran Canyon Antelopes out of the Western Athletic Conference pay a visit to Rupp Arena.
A crowd of 14,076 Wildcats fans got their first glimpse of Towns this week when he played in a Kentucky Blue/White intra-squad scrimmage.
He had 18 points and nine rebounds in the Blue's 94-66 triumph.
"Starting out, I had some nerves, but I shook them off really quick and I felt that we had a great showing as the UK Basketball team," Towns said.
Calipari, who was the Dominican Republic national team coach when Towns played at the OQT in Caracas, Venezuela two years ago, has high hopes for his freshman.
"He's just not coming up with balls, he'll try to make some hero plays offensively," Calipari said.
"But he's learning."
Towns, who turns 19 this month, wasn't able to link up with the Dominicans for the FIBA Basketball World Cup with all of his focus on his freshman season at Kentucky.
He appeared in both the McDonald's All-America and Jordan Brand Classic games.
Towns, whose father played American college basketball at Monmouth, is very excited about going to Kentucky and not just because of the school’s wonderful basketball tradition.
He enjoys his schoolwork.
If he's not playing basketball in 10 years, Towns, whose mother is a nurse, has a good idea of what he would like to be doing instead.
"I always envisioned for myself, especially when I came here, to be a kinesiologist," he said to the Central Kentucky News.
"Kentucky's top three in the country in kinesiology, and I'm learning under the best. I came here to be the best person I could be, not the best player I could be."
While the Dominicans were playing in Spain and raising eyebrows by advancing to the Round of 16, Towns was studying with some of his Kentucky teammates.
"Classes here are awesome," he said. "I was fortunate to have Aaron (Harrison), Andrew (Harrison), Devin (Booker) and Tyler (Ulis) in my classes this summer.
"I was blessed to have both classes with them and we had a ball. I am having a great time with my brothers and family here.
"I just love them and being with them every day is fun even in class."