Minnesota Timberwolves player Karl-Anthony Towns made a sad revelation on Friday, December 4, when he said that he has lost seven family members in total to COVID-19. This comes after his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, died of the virus in April.
"I’ve been through a lot, obviously starting out with my mom," he 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," ESPN reported. The 25-year-old said that he has "seen a lot of coffins in the last seven months."
"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. 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," he said.
Towns is gearing up for his sixth season with the Timberwolves but returning to the court won’t be the same without his mom. "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," he recalled. "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."
Towns was candid about his mental health following the loss and said that it's been "getting harder and harder every day, as I keep losing people the season keeps rolling around."
In March, he posted an emotional video on Instagram about his family's experience with COVID-19 because “I think it’s important that everyone understands the severity of what's going on in the world right now.”
He explained that he didn’t think "anyone really understood what it was" when his parents fell ill and his mother "kept getting worse" before she was put on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma.
Fans offered condolences in the comments section. "God Bless You. Be Strong. Keep the Faith. Be Safe. You can make it," one fan said. "Prayers for you young man. Your mother sounds like she was an amazing person, and my heart and prayers go out to you and yours," another wrote.
Towns also posted a YouTube video about his mom’s illness because he "didn’t want people to feel the way I felt."
"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," he said.
Towns' mom was 58 years old when she passed. However, things seemed like they were getting better before she regressed, while his father has since recovered from the virus.
Towns is currently dating Jordyn Woods, and the couple has bonded over the loss of their parents after Woods’ dad died of cancer in 2017.
We're thinking of Towns' family during this difficult time.