Jusuf Nurkic’s grandmother passed away from coronavirus

Nurkic had been concerned about his grandmother's health since she was diagnosed.

Jusuf Nurkic #27 of the Portland Trail Blazers throws up his arms against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second quarter in the Western Conference play-in game one at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 15, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Jusuf Nurkic, center player for the Portland Blazers, posted on Instagram to let his followers know that his grandmother had passed away due to the coronavirus.

In a rough translation from Croatian to English, his caption read, “One of the best. We are all Allah’s and we return to Him. #ripgrandma #loveyou.”

Nurkic made the announcement two hours before today’s playoff game. The Blazers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday in the NBA’s first-ever play-in game. Nurkic has been inside the NBA’s bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Nurkic had spoken openly about the grief he felt as his grandmother was dealing with the coronavirus. He first revealed that she was sick after Portland lost to Boston on August 2.

At the time, the 25-year-old was hopeful about her recovery and said “I’m praying for her.”

Game 1 of the first-round series will be between the Lakers and Blazers, and is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday. This marks the Blazers’ seventh consecutive season into the NBA playoffs, according to The Oregonian.

“Obviously the court is the safest place for me. I’ve been through a lot in my life. It’s not going to change my mindset. It will be the same when I’m on the floor,” said Nurkic.

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Nurkic, whose total played time against the Grizzlies was 40 minutes and who scored 22 points, according to the official NBA box score, is dealing with the loss of his grandmother all while fighting to keep the Blazers in the playoffs.

As of now, beating the Grizzlies 126 to 122, the Blazers are the eighth seed in the Western Conference, making them eligible to play against the Los Angeles Lakers, first seed, in the first round of the playoffs.

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