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Timberwolves select Karl-Anthony Towns No. 1 overall in NBA draft

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are hoping big man Karl-Anthony Towns lives up to all the hype.

The Timberwolves selected the 6-foot-11 freshman sensation out of Kentucky with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Towns, 19, who averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game in his only season with the Wildcats, was widely believed to be the top overall selection by experts heading into the draft.

“When [commissioner] Adam Silver came out, I saw him, and he said, ‘With the No. 1 pick …’[my heart] was racing,” said Towns. “I told Coach Cal [John Calipari] before when he first came out that I was trying to drink water and I was shaking uncontrollably, and I told him, ‘Coach, don’t give me the ball right now for the last-second shot. I wouldn’t make it.’ I was just shocked and just extremely happy that I was able to give my parents something they can remember for the rest of their lives.”

The New Jersey native is considered a highly skilled, two-way threat who can impact games on both ends of the floor.

“It really was a no-brainer,” Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders said of the decision to draft Towns.

The Timberwolves, who currently are in rebuilding mode, hope Towns and last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Andrew Wiggins, can be a formidable duo for years to come. Minnesota acquired Wiggins in the blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Love to Cleveland last summer.

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