Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns won’t admit if he is rooting for a specific ping-pong ball to come up for his childhood team, the Knicks, in the May 19 NBA Draft lottery. But he does admit Knicks president Phil Jackson is exactly the kind of “presence’’ he would like to be around in the NBA.

Towns, who flew in from Lexington, Ky., to appear at his high school in Metuchen, N.J., Sunday at a signing event to raise money for St. Joseph’s, told The Post how much he admires the Zen Master, who watched one of Kentucky’s practices in Lexington on Feb. 27.

“It’s his presence,’’ Towns told The Post. “What he means to me, his presence is just amazing. What was so awesome as a coach, he made every player better and put them in the best position to succeed. He’s just so smart and intelligent and has so much experience. He knows how to win. At the end of the day, what every player wants to do is win. If I have the opportunity to ever play for the Knicks, that’s what I would love to do.’’
It has been evident since last month Jackson has a preference for Towns over center Jahlil Okafor, saying multiple times he prefers a defensive-oriented big man in the draft over an offensive-only center. Towns has scored high marks as a two-way player while Okafor is known as one-dimensional, with his energy on defense lagging.

The Knicks, in need of a big man, have a 19.9 percent chance of winning the top pick.