The Towns family has found success on and off the court. Karl-Anthony Towns finding his success on the court, becoming the Rookie of the Year in 2015-16. KAT just recently became an All-Star in 2018, already placing himself as one of the best big’s in the league the moment he was drafted.
However, KAT wasn’t just the #1 overall pick for no reason – it came from hard work, which made that success possible. It came from the help of his parents who showed him how to do great things off the court as well.
KAT’s father, Karl Towns spent most of his life helping the youth achieve their potential. He spent over 20 years coaching basketball and has been involved in education all of his life. Towns is now helping young adults get into college and achieve their goals.
Through the support of family and friends, Karl Towns started KAT Team and became president of the organization. KAT Team is a non-profit with a mission to help young scholars obtain the education that they deserve regardless of their socio-economic status.
Spark Sports, Raejhon Johnson had the opportunity to speak with Karl Towns, joined by his Legal Counsel Jennifer Jacques, Esq.
(Jennifer Jacques is Legal Counsel for the KAT Team foundation. She also serves as legal counsel for Nassan’s Place, a non-profit supported by Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat. In her spare time, she enjoys giving back and sits on the board of two non-profit organizations with the goal of raising money for education and the arts. Jennifer believes in the power of collaboration and encourages her clients to work with other non-profits to effectively build their platform. She has started her own law firm and has been featured in the Huffington Post for her work.)
Get to know the KAT Team
RJ: “What is KAT Team and it’s mission?”
KT: “I started KAT Team along with my wife Jacqueline Towns. Our mission is to provide funding for young adults to help them attend college and accomplish their goals. We want to make sure that kids get the education that they deserve. Even if they don’t have the funds to do it, we’ll make sure they can achieve their goals.”
RJ: “Who is a part of the KAT Team?”
KT: “My wife Jacqueline Towns and I. My son Karl-Anthony Towns is on the board and supports the educational initiatives that we are putting together. Jennifer Jacques is our legal counsel and negotiates all collaborations and partnerships with other non-profits”. (The KAT Team site also lists Lachelle Almonte and Haris Stamoulis as board members.)
RJ: “How is Karl-Anthony Towns involved with the team?”
KT: “He is a board member and is supporting us because he understands the value of education. My son is still interested in being a Doctor and takes his role as a board member seriously. He will be a part of the process of helping to select the four students who receive scholarships this year”
RJ: “How will KAT team assist young adults to pursue their education?”
KT: “We’re going to open up doors of opportunity. I mentor kids all the time. KAT Team will give kids guidance on anything they want to do. We don’t want them to worry about who to call or who to find when they need something. We’re going to make sure that somebody can find what they need to help them accomplish their goals.”
RJ: “What inspired you to create KAT team?”
KT: “My lifelong ambition of education and watching all the people that I’ve helped get in college and going around the country listening to peoples struggles in terms of education and the job market.
Everyone knows a high-school diploma is great, but in today’s world, you need to do a little bit more. When you hear people say I want to go to college but can’t afford it, the little things like that inspire me to get out there and raise money for kids who want to go to college. Good kids want to go to college, but parents are struggling.
After all my years of coaching basketball and years of education and working with disabled kids, I thought the best thing to do was to start KAT team and help out as much as I could. Basically what inspired me was the young men and women who expressed the desire to want to go to school, but couldn’t afford it.”
RJ: “How much progress has the team made so far?”
KT: “We’ve made a lot of progress. We just gave a large sum of money to the United Negro College Fund. We gave them resources and people are supportive of us. Their support gave us the opportunity to do that.
We also donated $17,500 to start a computer lab for individuals affected by autism. I’ve sent numerous kids to college every day.”
JJ:” We’ve also created a partnership with UNCF (United Negro College Fund). They give out millions of dollars in scholarships to students each year. These students can elect to attend their college of choice. They will be helping KAT Team find students who need money along with athletes and leaders who are doing amazing things in their community.
So I think, KAT Team being a young organization, within approximately 2-3 months we have created strong partnerships, which definitely have given us a great platform. Donating money for a computer lab at Reed Academy shows the milestones we’ve reached in a short amount of time.”
RJ: “How can people help the KAT team achieve its goal?”
KT: “People can help us by being supportive and making a donation towards the education for students, in terms of trying to help them achieve their goals. Anything is beneficial to us, even if it isn’t monetary.
People can help us by opening up doors for people that just may want to hear what we do. People can go to organizations and say KAT Team might want to be apart of this and give us a chance to go and hear what we have to offer and bring to the table.
So basically, how can you help us? Word of mouth, donations or just finding people who support KAT Team and help us assist these young men and women get to the successful goals that we want to see them achieve.”
JJ: “Also we’re going to be having a walk for education on September 22nd, 2018 at Bloomfield Park in New Jersey. Even having volunteers come out and support Kat Team at different events that we’re putting together to bring awareness to education is a great way to show support. That could be something. Just volunteering time to be a mentor and we can connect people – so time is important as well.”
RJ: “What have you thought about your son Karl-Anthony Towns and his time so far on the Timberwolves?”
KT:”I tell everybody the stuff my son is doing is surreal to me. He made many sacrifices to get to where he is. I knew he was going to be good. Did I know he was going be this good, this quick? No.
He improves every year. The success that he’s garnering now is rewarding because people are recognizing his talent and that to me means a lot. I tell people all the time, it’s not what he does on the basketball court that impresses me. It’s how he conducts himself and how he speaks and has so much awareness of all the things happening in America. He’s using his platform to bring attention to all these things happening in America.
So I see his success in a lot of ways. His sports success is great, but his awareness of things with school shootings and life, in general, are more important to me because he’s using his platform to bring awareness to a lot of things. I’m just proud of him and I’m supportive of anything that he does.”
If you would like to donate to the KAT team and assist Karl Towns in helping young adults get the education they deserve, you can click here. You can check out their website here to find out more about the team.