During an interview Friday, Minnesota Timberwolves Center Karl-Anthony Towns told reporters he hasn’t “been in a good place” since his mother died of complications from COVID-19 and revealed that six other family members have died due to the virus.
“I [haven’t] been mentally in a good place since that woman went in the hospital,” Towns, 24, said in his first press conference since his mother’s April 13 death. “It’s just getting harder and harder every day as I keep losing people.”
He told reporters he lost an uncle to the virus on Thursday.
“I’m just trying to … keep my family out of harm’s way,” he said, according to Minnesota’s Star Tribune. “I’ve seen a lot of coffins in the last seven, eight months. But I have a lot of people who are in my family, who have gotten COVID and I’m the one looking for answers still. Trying to find how to keep them healthy.”
“It’s just a lot of responsibility. A lot of responsibility on me to keep my family well-informed and make all the moves necessary to keep them alive,” he added.
Towns’s mother, 58-year-old Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, contracted the coronavirus in March. During her hospitalization, she was put on a ventilator and into a medically induced coma. Towns’ father also became infected with the virus, but he recovered.
Towns, who is set to play in the Dec. 23 game against the Detroit Pistons, said in January that basketball was a sort of therapy for him as he returned to the sport from a knee injury. On Friday, he said he doesn’t get the same joy from playing the game now that his mother is gone.
“It always brought a smile to my mom and it always brought a smile for me when I saw my mom at the baseline and in the stands watching me play,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to play. It’s going to be difficult to say that this is therapy. I don’t think this will ever be therapy again for me.”
In a video shared last month called “THE TOUGHEST YEAR OF MY LIFE,” Towns shared details of his families experience with COVID-19, including his decision to “pull the plug” after his mother experienced a stroke while in a coma. He also spoke about having to tell his family members, including his grandmother, that his mother had died.
Towns said he feels like he has been “hardened a little bit by life and humbled.”
In March, Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic’s initiatives to support COVID-19 testing.
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