Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns receives November NBA Cares Community Assist Award

NEW YORK – Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns will be honored with the NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente for the month of November in recognition of his support for homeless youth, the NBA today announced.  The monthly honor recognizes a player who best demonstrates the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities.

Throughout the month of November, Towns partnered with the Timberwolves and Hy-Vee to host KAT’s Community Coat Drive. Beginning Friday, Nov. 5 through the end of the month, fans brought new or gently used winter coats to Timberwolves home games and local Hy-Vee locations. At the end of the drive, Towns joined representatives from the Timberwolves and Hy-Vee to deliver all coats to YouthLink, an organization in downtown Minneapolis that provides resources to homeless youth to help them discover new pathways and opportunities.

Towns’ sustained community outreach efforts have been focused on youth, health and wellness, and social justice. Throughout his career in Minnesota, he has established a relationship with HopeKids, an organization that provides ongoing events, activities and a powerful, unique support community for families who have a child with cancer or another life-threatening medical condition. For the past four years, Towns has hosted 25 families from HopeKids for an annual movie screening at the Theater at Mayo Clinic Square, surprising the youth with gifts such as gaming stations and headphones. He will continue this tradition during the 2021-22 season, hosting HopeKids for the annual event on Dec. 18.

“Being involved in the community means a lot to me and to have the support of our fans makes helping out our community even that much more special,” said Towns. “Seeing fans bring in donations during KAT’s Community Coat Drive brought me back to my childhood – knowing just how impactful these donations can be in uplifting each and every person. This platform has given me a chance that I am so grateful for, a chance to pave the way for our community to come together and support each other through different initiatives. Being involved with organizations like HopeKids and engaged with YouthLink, proves to me that people’s generosity is unmatched, and we are all better off when we stick together.”

Additionally, Towns makes a conscious effort to use his platform to advance equity and social justice and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition.  In May, he participated in a “A Conversation on Policing Reform” hosted by the Coalition with other members of the NBA family and sitting lawmakers to discuss the importance and urgency of police reform. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Towns has also been focused on supporting issues related to the virus, providing a $100,000 donation to Mayo Clinic to help with testing capabilities and availability in March 2020 and continuing to support vaccine education and awareness.

Towns will be presented with the award tonight, Dec. 17, prior to the Timberwolves’ home contest against the Los Angeles Lakers (10 p.m. ET on ESPN) by Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx Owner Glen Taylor. The NBA and Kaiser Permanente will donate $10,000 on Towns’ behalf to World Federation of Youth Clubs.

The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente honors the standard set by NBA legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece.  To learn more, please visit https://communityassist.nba.com/.