Northland Basketball Star's College Decision Impacted By Education


Jerod Sullinger went there, so did Trey Burke. And now Northland High School in Columbus has another big senior basketball star.

His name is Seth Towns. Plenty of college programs came knocking on his door. The one he chose might surprise you, but it made perfect sense to his biggest fans.

Sitting in the Northland High School gymnasium, you can tell Melissa Smitherman couldn’t be more proud of her son. 

“There are so many things about Seth,” she said. “He just stays true to who he is."

Seth Towns is a kid striving to be his best.  From the athlete who commands attention on the court, to the thinker who’s more than comfortable in the classroom.

“I'm not going to let anything distract what comes first and how I was raised, and I was raised to believe school is first and basketball is second,” Towns said.

But make no mistake, Towns puts a lot of work into both at Northland High in Columbus, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

One assistant principal calls him the “Incredible Seth Towns.”  It’s because he’s as into his grades as he his sport. 

He keeps his GPA at or above a 4.0.  He belongs to the National Honor Society, and he’s a serious member of the math team, all while he pursues his hoop dreams. 

Coach Sean Taylor sums it up best:  “Just complete. Seth’s a complete student athlete.”

And the teacher Towns calls his second mom has kudos for his character.

“He could easily be an egotistical I don't care about anybody else person, but he's not like that at all.  Like I said, very modest, very humble," Dr. Sybil Brown said.

She also said she’s excited for him because of the path he’s taking.

“One of my favorite writers…said do not go where the path may lead. Go where there's no path and make a trail," Towns said.

Here’s his trail:  Towns had offers to play basketball at some top tier programs.  But the sport wasn’t the only thing that factored into his decision. 

He went for the right all-around fit.  He’s Harvard-bound.

His mom credits her son’s drive, the Northland High School community and purposeful parenting.

“Be their advocate,” she said. “Be willing to fight for what you want for your child.”

Towns offered up a few more secrets to his success.  He says you have to love what you’re doing, you have to be consistent, and you have to have spirituality.