Karl-Anthony Towns is one the most gifted young talents in the NBA. The 22-year-old Minnesota Timberwolves center is putting up a light 21 and 11 as the Wolves sit 4th in the Western Conference.
But Towns is doing some very cool stuff off the court as well.
In a recent sit down interview with ESPN.com, Towns addressed the topic of medical marijuana. He said he agreed with David Stern’s claim that the NBA should remove marijuana from the banned list because of the healing properties of the plant.
Towns comes from an unorthodox perspective on the issue. He’s never drank or smoked, but he’s observed the fact that there are truly helpful components in cannabis. Towns told ESPN.com,
“You don’t have to actually make it ‘Mary J’ [or] ‘Half Baked.’ You don’t have to do it like that, but you could use the [chemical] properties in it to make a lot of people better. That’s something that Adam Silver has to do, that’s out of my control, but maybe legalizing marijuana. Not fully legal where people are chimneys but using [marijuana] as a beneficial factor as an athlete, as a person living daily.”
The Wolves center does work at autistic schools in his free time and he’s seen first-hand that there are benefits for people living with certain conditions that can be alleviated with medical marijuana,
“I look at it from my experience with it. I’ve never smoked, I’ve never taken a strand, I’ve never taken properties of it, whatever the case may be. But I deal with kids all the time at autistic schools, Reed Academy in New Jersey. My girlfriend has an autistic nephew, and you realize those properties of marijuana can do a lot of good for kids and for adults. These guys, just because we’re NBA athletes, we’re not super humans. Some of us have conditions that could use [medical marijuana] to our benefit for everyday living, just taking care of our kids and our families.”
Towns also said that he’s naturally fascinated by medical topics because his mother is in the medical field and that if he weren’t a 7’0″ all-world athlete, he’d be studying kinesiology,
“If I wasn’t playing basketball, I wanted to be in the medical field. My mother’s in the medical field. I went to school to be a kinesiologist at Kentucky, which is the study of the kinetic movement of the body. So if I have patients, my job is to take care of people. The reason I brought that up is because there’s a lot of research that shows medical marijuana has benefits to help autistic children live their lives easier. Not smoking, but the properties of [marijuana] make his life so much easier, and he now feels like a regular kid.”
It’s cool to see someone like Towns use their platform to try and affect positive change. He’s not some stoner trying to get weed off the banned list in order to enjoy his games more (not that there’s anything wrong with that), he’s an incredibly thoughtful 22-year-old (!) that’s obviously looked into and read up on this topic.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, KAT penned an emotional essay for the Player’s Tribune after the white nationalist marches in Charlottesville in August.
Karl-Anthony Towns is not only one of the most exciting young players in the NBA, he’s a brilliant dude with an incredibly bright future on and off the court.
Big shouts to KAT.