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Focus is on kids at Wolves star's third Pro Camp

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns during the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards at The Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Ray, Calif. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

PLYMOUTH, Minn.—Karl-Anthony Towns' annual Pro Camp is becoming a bit of a Twin Cities tradition.

This week marks the Timberwolves center's third straight offseason working with kids on the court. For some kids, Day 1 of Towns' camp at Providence Academy in Plymouth was the first time they've worked with the All-NBA center. Others have attended the camp each year.

"It's a humbling experience when you get to see kids you've seen as a rookie, see how they've grown," Towns said. "Got little facial hair, little things now, and just seeing them getting taller, bigger, stronger and to see them develop, it's a huge thing."

Towns puts an emphasis on working with children away from the court. Growing up, he craved the type of opportunity his campers have to work with a pro and soak up his insight. That's why Towns is involved in deciding which drills to incorporate. Many are focused on fundamentals, and usually they're ones Towns did while growing up with his father, Karl Towns Sr., who also works the camp.

Towns loves seeing the improvement the kids make while at the camp, noting that they're even better on Day 2 than they were on Day 1.

"I'm just trying to do my due diligence and give back to these kids," he said, "and give them the head start that I never was given."

Towns hopes one day to see one of his camp alums starring in the NBA or WNBA. He said it's "awesome" the Timberwolves gave him this platform.

"I always thank God for Flip Saunders every day for giving me the opportunity to play NBA basketball," Towns said, "for giving me a platform to first prove myself, and second for the betterment of society."

Towns didn't take questions about anything not camp-related Wednesday, so he wasn't asked about his contract extension negotiations or rumors of his unhappiness with the Wolves' front office or teammate Jimmy Butler's reported unhappiness with him. So those questions will have to wait for another day.

But Towns did make one statement that suggested things weren't all fine and dandy between the all-star and the Wolves.

Two years ago, at his first Pro Camp in Minnesota — just after completing his rookie season — Towns called Minnesota "home." He said he found himself just wanting to come back to Minnesota, even in the offseason.

"I love being here," Towns said back then. "Hopefully, I can spend the rest of my career here."

On Wednesday, Towns was asked if Minnesota still feels like his second home.

"I think that I've done a lot of things here. I'm very proud of the things I've been able to do so far," Towns said. "But I've had a lot of things that have to be talked about."