John Calipari has seen a lot of unique players come through his programs over the years, but there are few players he’s seen like Karl-Anthony Towns. The leader of his almost-perfect team, Towns and Calipari led Kentucky to a 38-1 season with the lone loss coming to Wisconsin in the Final Four. This run was largely thanks to the unique skillset that Towns possessed.
Of course, when you have a unique player like Towns they’re going to have a unique body to execute those skills. Kentucky had never seen a player like Towns before, and as it turned out they didn’t even have shoes that properly fit him. Towns’ feet were so unlike anything Kentucky had seen before that they had to actually mold and cast his feet and ankles so they could create special shoes for him to wear at Kentucky.
Calipari broke it down in a feature video he did with Complex where he went sneaker shopping.
This is one of those funny lighthearted stories that you don’t get to hear unless it’s in this kind of setting. Nobody would think to ask Calipari about getting the proper shoes for Towns when he was in college but put him on a show talking about sneakers and this comes up. Obviously the shoes they molded for Towns worked out great since he turned that 38-1 season into becoming the No. 1 overall pick of the NBA Draft. Still, it’s wild to think Towns had to be fitted more like a hockey player getting their skates baked so they fit better than a teenage basketball player just getting a pair of team-issued sneakers and hitting the court.