REGENSBURG (David Hein's Eye on the Future) - Sure, the summer of 2013 isn't even over yet, but basketball fans can already look forward to seeing some elite young talent at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. One of them should be Karl Towns.
The 17-year-old helped the Dominican Republic to qualify for Spain 2014 by finishing fourth at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship.
Towns averaged 4.0 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the field in eight games in Caracas tournament.
The New Jersey native got his big chance to shine in Dominican Republic's game against Paraguay as he played 18 minutes and made all five of his field goal attempts and went 6-of-9 on free throws in scoring 16 points to go with three rebounds.
"It's been an honor and a blessing to be able to play against such talented players and the best athletes in the world. I'm just so blessed and thankful that I have been given the chance. I thank God everyday. For me it's a dream come true," said Towns.
The 2.11m big man is already considered an elite talent in the USA where he will be finishing his high school career this upcoming season and is due to attend the University of Kentucky starting in the fall of 2014.
Towns, who won't turn 18 until November, already popped up on scouting radars earlier this year when he played at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit. He collected seven points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 16:30 minutes of action for the international team in Portland.
He exhibits an enticing mix of shooting range, passing skills, nice touch and feel for the game - especially promising for a player his age and size.
He undoubtedly has taken a huge step in the past five months, playing with the best prospects in the world and against the best American talents at April's Hoop Summit and then working with the Dominican Republic senior national team.
In the national team training camp and then in Caracas, Towns got to pick the brains of NBA swingman Francisco Garcia as well as veteran players such as Ricardo Greer, James Feldeine, Eulis Baez and Edgar Sosa who have played in leading European leagues.
Towns also had Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua as his head coach in Caracas and it would seem that Kentucky head coach John Calipari would coach the Dominican Republic at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup since he led them at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The teenager seems committed to playing for the Dominican Republic for years to come.
"The experience of playing FIBA basketball has been awesome. It's a more physical game and I want to represent my country.”
He also talked about the making it to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
"Going to the Olympics is also on my mind, And why not? We have a great national program now."
World basketball fans will get a glimpse of Towns already next summer at Spain 2014.
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