NBA Star Karl-Anthony Towns Tests Positive for COVID-19 Months After Losing His Mother to the Virus
"Prior to tonight's game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID," the Minnesota Timberwolves star began in a statement posted to Twitter and Instagram. "I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol."
As a result of his positive test, the Timberwolves' Friday evening game against the Memphis Grizzlies was postponed. In his statement, the 25-year-old athlete called on his fans to take the virus seriously and "stop the spread."
"I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all the necessary precautions," Towns wrote. "We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone, it must be a group effort by all of us."
His girlfriend, Jordyn Woods, wrote a supportive message in the comments section of his Instagram post. "Praying for you baby. You got this. God's got you," she shared.
The Timberwolves' president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas, told reporters during a news conference on Friday that the organization has had two positive COVID-19 tests, including Towns.
"It's heartbreaking," Rosas said of Towns' positive test, according to ESPN. "It's a lesson for all of us. Basketball is a microcosm of society right now and you can do the right things — our protocol has been strong. Our staff has done an unbelievable job of making sure we test, we mask, we follow protocol. But this virus is powerful and its creative."
"Karl is the most important part of this organization," he added. "What he's gone through, what Karl Sr. has gone through — it couldn't be more heartbreaking."
Towns' diagnosis comes after his mother and six other family members died as a result of COVID-19 complications last year. He addressed his family's losses in his Friday statement, writing that he "will beat this" in an emotional address to his niece and nephew.
"It breaks my heart that my family, and particularly my father and sister continue to suffer from the anxiety that comes along with this diagnosis as we know all too well what the end result could be," the NBA star shared. "To my niece and nephew, Jolani and Max, I promise you I will not end up in a box next to grandma and I will beat this."
Towns' mother, Jacqueline, died in April following a weeks-long battle with coronavirus. In December, he opened up about that loss and revealed that six additional relatives had died from COVID as well.
"It's hard," Towns told reporters at the time. "I've lost a lot of close family members, people who have raised me, people who have gotten me here."
"I've seen a lot of coffins in the last seven-eight months," he added. "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."
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