Alex Len comes to the NBA draft with tremendous size, undeniable defensive presence and a budding offensive game. Oh, and he also has a wonderful and extremely tall girlfriend.
Many NBA draft buffs have already sized up the potential first overall selection in Len. He comes in at 7'1" and weighs a whopping 255 pounds. His lovely girlfriend is 6'7" Essence Townsend, a Maryland Terrapin women's basketball player.
Here are the two living it up at the Times Square Bubba Gump.
If that weren't adorable enough, Townsend sent out this tweet, throwing all of her support behind her beau, who will soon be part of an NBA team.
Here is that Instagram image tied to the tweet, a veritable collage of cute.
For those who can't wait for Thursday's draft to start, there is a fantastic breakdown of their story by The Washington Post's Alex Prewitt.
It seems the two met two years ago when the University of Maryland threw an ice cream social for their athletes. Townsend spotted Len and immediately began talking to the Ukrainian athlete who had only learned but a modicum of English.
The two would speak for hours at a time despite the language barrier, leading to a wonderful exchange:
“He said, ‘I like you,’ ” Townsend said. “I said: ‘I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to say I hate you, but I don’t really know you like that.’
“He said, ‘Okay, we’re going to get to know each other.’ ”
According to the report, the two now live with one another and are about to share in an amazing turn in each other's future.
That doesn't mean Townsend is going to leap over the chasm to the NBA and hope for the best, because she is sticking around for one more year of basketball at Maryland.
Prewitt writes that Len will pay for any and all trips for his girlfriend to whichever city lands the talented big man.
For the time being, the two will continue to savor this remarkable moment together. As noted, she will be by Len's side on Thursday night. You can't miss her, because something tells me she will be wearing a huge smile.
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