NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns says seven family members have died from COVID
Karl-Anthony Towns lost his mother Jacqueline Cruz Towns to COVID-19 in April
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns is acutely aware of how devastating COVID-19 is as he just revealed he’s lost seven family members to the virus.
Towns shared the depths of his personal tragedy with ESPN’s Malika Andrews which she relayed in a tweet Friday. The 25-year-old acknowledged that he “hasn’t been in a good place” since his mother’s hospitalization from coronavirus and subsequent death. As theGrio reported in April, his mother Jacqueline Cruz Towns died after battling the virus.
He’s also lost six more family members to the airborne virus and is now trying to ensure that he doesn’t lose any more.
“I’m the one looking for answers to try to keep my family well informed & make all the moves necessary to keep them alive,” Towns said.
Towns also highlighted how his mother has continued to be a guiding influence in his life. Her memory prompted him to join former NBA star Stephen Jackson at a rally for his friend George Floyd who was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police earlier this year.
“I really feel it was the strength of my mother…. I knew I had to go and I knew I had to make my voice heard,” Towns said.
theGrio reported last month that Towns bared his raw feelings in a tearful interview with Natalie Manuel Lee of Hillsong Channel. Called “The Toughest Year of My Life,” Towns talked about the loss and recalled the final conversation with his late mother.
“I remember she just told me ‘I’m so sorry if I ever did anything that didn’t make you proud of me as a mom,’” Towns said. “I said, ‘No stop talking like that. Don’t talk like that to me. You’re going to be just fine. You’re going to go in, you’re going to be in a coma just for a little bit. They’re going to bring you back out and you’re going to be just as good as new and we’ll talk and laugh about this situation and feel even closer.’”
He had a hard time believing his mother was really gone even after his father called to give him the news.
“He was just like, ‘She’s gone. She had a stroke during the night and she’s gone.’ I said, ‘Has she taken a step back? What’s the next step?’ Because in my mind, I’m just thinking about [next] steps,” Towns said.
The family made the decision to remove her from life support and for Towns, the grieving process has progressed one day at a time. Towns has been supported by his girlfriend Jordyn Woods, who lost her father, Ed. Woods, to cancer in 2017.
“There’s a lot of adjectives you could use for emotions but for me I just know when people ask me how you’re doing, it’s a day-by-day thing. I just don’t know,” Towns said. “I don’t know what the next day holds for me. I just know that right now I got to keep it together and try to find the smile and fun in life. … Trying to take care of my friends and I’m trying to heal myself through them. It’s helped, but I think that one day, and I know it’s creeping up, I feel it every day, it’s gonna creep up and I’m going to have to find a way to deal with it, actually.”
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