Karl-Anthony Towns Says He Lost 7 Family Members to COVID-19, Including His Mom

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 4, 2020

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) plays in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns is still grieving the death of his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, and opened up about the losses his family has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Towns said he "hasn't been in a good place" since his mom was hospitalized with COVID-19. She died from complications of the virus April 13.

In addition to his mom, Towns said he's had six other family members die from COVID-19: "I'm the one looking for answers to try to keep my family well informed and make all the moves necessary to keep them alive."

He said he doesn't think playing will be a form of therapy for him because having his mom and other family watch him play basketball brought him a joy that will no longer be there:

Jon Krawczynski @JonKrawczynski

KAT on returning to play after losing his mother and six others to COVID, including an uncle just last night. https://t.co/TzkmcPqQK6

In their statement announcing Cruz-Towns' death, the Timberwolves noted she had been suffering from COVID-19 "for more than a month" when she died:

"Jackie was many things to many people—a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. The matriarch of the Towns family, she was an incredible source of strength; a fiery caring, and extremely loving person, who touched everyone she met. Her passion was palpable and her energy will never be replaced."

Towns has spoken openly about how difficult it has been for him and his family in the eight months since she died at the age of 59.

"I think for me, I think if I was to say how am I coping and how am I healing from this, I'm trying to heal myself through others," he told Eric Todisco of People last month.

Even before his mother's death, Towns was using his platform to help during the pandemic. The two-time All-Star announced March 15 a $100,000 donation to support the Mayo Clinic's rollout of a test used to detect COVID-19.