It’s not uncommon for a player selected in the first round at the NBA draft to give his girlfriend a quick kiss prior to walking up on stage to shake NBA commissioner David Stern’s hand. Often, the height disparity between player and girlfriend forces the former to hunch way over for their congratulatory peck.
Former Maryland center Alex Len will have no such problems whenever he’s picked in the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday. His girlfriend, ex-Lady Terrapins center Essence Townsend, stands 6-foot-7 — just six inches shorter than Len and taller than the 6-foot-6 Michael Jordan.
The two began dating shortly after Len’s arrival in College Park from Ukraine, in 2011, when Townsend was a junior. Her steadying influence proved to be invaluable in his transition from another country and to the college game.
“I think it’s helping him a lot,” Len’s former roommate and teammate, John Auslander, told The Washington Post. “Help keep him grounded. … They’re awesome. As close as can be. They love each other. She was pretty much living with him this past year too. I know they’re close. Obviously, when they walk down the street, everybody will look at them.”
If the two remain together, get married and start a family, there will be some literally and figuratively sky-high expectations for their children.