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Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns Is No. 1 NBA Draft Pick

Power forward Karl-Anthony Towns shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shortly after being taken first in the NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kathy Willens
/
AP
Power forward Karl-Anthony Towns shakes hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shortly after being taken first in the NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 2015 NBA Draft took place Thursday night in Brooklyn's Barclay Center. Karl-Anthony Towns from the University of Kentucky was the first pick, drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that ended last season with a 16-66 record. Nineteen-year-old, 6-foot-11 Towns only played one year at Kentucky, but during that season was named a 2015 Second-Team All-American. He also helped lead Kentucky to the Final Four.

In an interview shortly after his pick, Towns told ESPN, "This is what you live for." He continued, "I'm coming with a winning attitude. I just want to win."

The Los Angeles Lakers — once dominant, now coming off of a bruising 21-61 season — had second pick and chose guard D'Angelo Russell of Ohio State University.

The Philadelphia 76ers (18-64) picked third, choosing center Jahlil Okafor from Duke University. All three top picks in this year's draft were college freshmen.

Rounding out the top five were two international picks. The New York Knicks (17-65) selected Kristaps Porzingis, a 7-foot power forward from Latvia with the fourth pick. The fifth pick went to the Orlando Magic (25-57), who selected Mario Hezonja, a shooting guard from Croatia.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Becky Sullivan has reported and produced for NPR since 2011 with a focus on hard news and breaking stories. She has been on the ground to cover natural disasters, disease outbreaks, elections and protests, delivering stories to both broadcast and digital platforms.
Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.
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