Before They Were Trading Card Stars: Karl-Anthony Towns

By: Christopher, Founder & Owner
January 17, 2017


Karl-Anthony Towns, Rookie Card, Basketball Card, Trading Cards
Trading card collector ThoseBackPages proudly displays his Karl-Anthony Towns rookie card.

While in just his second year of professional play, Karl-Anthony Towns has already made a big impact in basketball and in trading cards. He has racked up accolades that many professional players will never achieve. One such accolade Towns achieved was being named Rookie of the Year in 2016. The year prior, Towns was named SEC Freshman of the Year. In 2014, Karl was awarded Gatorade National Player of the Year. Yeah, that’s pretty good.

Before comparisons to greats like Michael Jordan were made, “KAT” made a name for himself on the high school hard court. The son of a basketball coach, a young Towns would often practice with the JV squad where his father coached. While attending St. Joseph High School, he helped win state championships in 2012, 2013, and 2014[1]. Towns was ranked the top high school basketball player by ESPN in his Freshman year. At the age of 16, he was named to the National Basketball Team for the Dominican Republic[2].

To say this kind of play got Towns noticed is an understatement. If emojis could be posted here, there would likely be plenty of “fire’s” and “100’s” to get the point across. The things he was doing on the court would elicit such graphics. He posted a rare quadruple-double—TWICE[3]. In short, KAT’s strong play in his only year of college play helped put him at the top of many draft rankings.


Karl-Anthony was the first overall draft pick on June 25, 2015 (my birthday, incidentally). His professional debut came about in late October of that year, a game in which he helped his team win. Due to his outstanding play, Towns was awarded Rookie of the Month honors each month of the pro basketball season, and he set team records along the way. Towns closed out his first year as a pro by becoming Rookie of the Year.

Towns is now in his second year of professional play and he continues to impress. He posted the first triple-double of his career in late December of 2016 while he scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and made 10 assists.

This kind of ridiculously impressive play is part of what makes his trading cards so sought after. While he continues to excel in his professional career, his cards remain just as much of a collection centerpiece as ever. I see his name and cards pop up on our Twitter feed more than any other basketball player. It seems his presence in the hobby has boosted interest in basketball trading cards by both collectors and sellers. While many casual collectors may lean more toward baseball or football, Towns has done a lot to get basketball back on the cardboard map.


Z. Schonbrun, “Two Parts to His Name, but Karl-Anthony Towns Is One Complete Player,” can be found under, 2015.
C. Smith, “Prep superstar Karl Towns Jr. records quadruple double in win,” can be found under, 2013.

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