Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns announced Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 after losing seven members of his family, including his mother, to the virus last year.
Towns, 25, promised his niece and nephew that he ‘will not end up in a box next to grandma’ in a heartbreaking note posted to Twitter in which he revealed he prays ‘every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside’.
His announcement came shortly after the NBA announced Friday’s game between the Timberwolves and the visiting Memphis Grizzlies was postponed due to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The NBA said Minnesota didn’t have the mandatory eight players available due to contact tracing within the team.
Towns was distressed over his positive test because his mother, 59-year-old Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, died of complications from COVID-19 on April 13 after being placed on a ventilator for 19 days.
Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns announced Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 in a heartbreaking note posted to social media
Towns had revealed in December that he has lost seven members of his family to COVID-19, including his mother, 59-year-old Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, pictured above with him in 2016
Towns’ girlfried Jordyn Woods shared her support on Instagram
Towns has played in just four games this season after suffering a wrist injury and is now in isolation following his positive COVID-19 test. He is pictured above on January 13
‘Prior to tonight’s game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID,’ Towns, who is in his sixth NBA season, said in his announcement.
‘I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol. I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all the necessary precautions.
‘It breaks my heart that my family, and particularly my father and sister continue to suffer from the anxiety that comes along with this diagnosis as we know all too well what the end result could be,’ he added.
‘To my niece and nephew … I promise you I will not end up in a box next to grandma and I will beat this.’
His girlfriend Jordyn Woods responded to his Instagram post saying she was ‘praying’ for his recovery.
‘You got this. God’s got you,’ she wrote.
He and Woods, whose father died in 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer, ‘connected about losing a parent at a very young age’ after years of friendship.
‘Be strong @karltowns,’ Woods later wrote on her Instagram Story.
‘You’re a true fighter. This is not fair or right that you were put in this position when you were just trying to do your job. You got this. Please send some prayers up.’
‘I want to thank you for all of your support, prayers, and concern,’ she added in a video.
‘My family and I all got tested for COVID and the results came back negative so we’re all good, but continue to pray for Karl. For a speedy recovery and I just wanted to say thank you and thank you for all of your concerns.’
Towns and Woods, whose father died in 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer, ‘connected about losing a parent at a very young age’ after years of friendship. She shared her support following her boyfriend’s diagnosis in several posts to social media
The NBA superstar and the model confirmed their romance in the fall
Towns has been open and honest about his family’s experiences with COVID-19 revealing in December 2020 that seven family members died due to the virus, including his mother and an uncle.
In a tweet on January 1, he shared the pain of last year writing: ‘From my family to you 2020, F**k You.’
He told ESPN in an interview in early December about the upcoming NBA season that he had ‘a lot of coffins in the last seven months’.
‘I’ve been through a lot, obviously starting out with my mom,’ Towns said.
‘Last night I got a call that I lost my uncle. I feel like I’ve been hardened a little bit by life and humbled.’
He did not say which other members of his family had passed away.
On January 1, Towns shared the pain of 2020 writing: ‘From my family to you 2020, F**k You’
Towns, pictured above with mother Jacqueline and father Karl Sr. revealed in December that six other members of his family have died of COVID-19 since his mother in April
Pictured, the Minnesota Timberwolves honored Karl-Anthony Towns’ mother, Jackie, before the season opening on December 23 after her death from COVID-19 in April
Jacqueline Towns-Cruz, pictured with Karl, rarely missed one of her son’s games
The 25-year-old said that he was still trying to process the death of his mother as he looks to protect the rest of his family from the ongoing pandemic.
His father, Karl Sr., also tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the year but has recovered.
‘I don’t even recognize most of my other games and years I’ve played and how I felt those days,’ Towns said last month, after dropping a double-double in the Timberwolves season-opener.
‘If I can be honest with ya’ll for a second, I mean, I don’t really recall or really care. I only know what happened from April 13 on. Because you may see me smiling and stuff, but that Karl died on April 13. He’s never coming back.
Jacqueline Cruz-Towns died in April aged 58
‘I have a lot of people who have – in my family and my mom’s family – gotten COVID. I’m the one looking for answers still, trying to find how to keep them healthy,’ he added.
‘It’s just a lot of responsibility on me to keep my family well-informed and to make all the moves necessary to keep them alive.’
Towns had shared an emotional post on Instagram on March 25 in which he explained that his mother Cruz-Towns was on a ventilator and in a medically-induced coma as a result of COVID-19.
‘We need more equipment and we need to help those medical personnel on the front lines,’ he wrote with the video.
‘Thank you to the medical staff who are helping my mom. You are all the true heroes! Praying for all of us at this difficult time.’
Afterward, Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to help with testing patients for COVID-19.
His mother received care at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia and JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey.
Towns later confirmed her death with a touching video showing her by his side at games, press conference and TV appearances.
His mother had been a constant presence through all the large moments of his career, and was often highlighted by fans for her enthusiasm in supporting her son from the crowds.
The basketball star said that he felt compelled to share his mother’s story, detailing how he cared for her on social media, so others would better understand the impact of the pandemic.
Towns shared his mom’s story on social media hoping to warn others of the impact of COVID
Towns’ father Karl Sr., pictured left, also contracted COVID-19 but has recovered
Towns is pictured with his family in 2016. He said Friday that he has been working to keep them safe from the pandemic since the death of his mother, pictured left, in April. In his post on Friday, he promised his niece and nephew, pictured, that he would recover
‘I didn’t want people to feel the way I felt,’ Towns said.
‘I wanted to try to keep them from having the ordeal and the situation I was going through. It just came from a place that I didn’t want people to feel as lonely and upset as I was.
‘I really made that video just to protect others and keep others well-informed, even though I knew it was going to take the most emotionally out of me that I’ve ever been asked to do.’
Towns told ESPN that his teammates had been a major support as he grieved but that it will still be hard for him to get back on the court as it was rare that his mom would ever miss one of his games.
Towns shared a touching tribute to his mother showing her by his side during the major events in his career following her death after 19 days in a coma in April
Towns said it will be hard to return to the court without his mother, pictured with him above
‘It always brought me a smile when I saw my mom at the baseline and in the stands and stuff and having a good time watching me play,’ Towns said.
‘It is going to be hard to play. It’s going to be difficult to say this is therapy. I don’t think [playing basketball] will ever be therapy for me again. But it gives me a chance to relive good memories I had.’
Minnesota hasn’t divulged who all was unavailable to play Friday but the team’s injury report listed point guard Ricky Rubio and forward Juancho Hernangomez as out due to health and safety protocols.
Towns has played in just four games this season after suffering a wrist injury earlier this season. He is averaging 22 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
Friday’s game was to be a rematch of Wednesday’s game in which Memphis beat Minnesota 118-107.
The Timberwolves-Grizzlies game was the third scheduled for Friday to be postponed and the 13th postponement league-wide this season.
Source: Daily Mail |World News