NBA Star Karl-Anthony Towns' Mother Dies From Complications of Coronavirus

"She was an incredible source of strength; a fiery, caring, and extremely loving person," the Minnesota Timberwolves said

Karl-Anthony Towns’ Mother Jaqueline
Karl-Anthony Towns and family. Photo: Karl-Anthony Towns/Instagram

After a weeks-long battle with coronavirus, Jacqueline Towns — mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns — has died, the family announced on Monday. She was 59.

“Jackie, as she was affectionately known among family and friends, had been battling the virus for more than a month when she succumbed on April 13th,” the Towns family said in a statement shared by the Timberwolves. “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,” the statement continued. “Her passion was palpable and her energy will never be replaced.”

Jacqueline was placed in intensive care after she displayed coronavirus-like symptoms in March. The health scare compelled Towns to share an emotional video on Instagram, where he posted a public plea for fans to take coronavirus seriously.

“I think it’s important that everyone understands the severity of what’s happening in the world right now with this coronavirus,” said Towns in the five-minute video message.

“She was telling me things I didn’t want to hear. I dismissed some things she was saying because it wasn’t something I wanted to hear,” Towns said on March 25. “… It’s very difficult for me and my family, to say the least. She’s the head of our household, she’s the boss.”

“Me and my family, we’re going to keep fighting this. … We’re gonna win,” Towns said in the video. “Life may keep throwing punches at me but I’m gonna keep getting back up and I ain’t gonna quit at any time, and neither will my whole family and neither will my mother.”

He added: “My mother is the strongest woman I know, and I know she’ll beat this. And we’re gonna rejoice when she does.”

Karl-Anthony Towns’ Mother Jaqueline

Towns’ father, Karl-Anthony Towns Sr., also contracted the virus but recovered enough to be sent home.

In a statement of their own on Monday, the Timberwolves called Jacqueline her son’s “number one fan” and a source of “positive energy.”

“Jackie provided constant and positive energy for him and was beloved by our entire organization and staff at Target Center as she supported her son and the Timberwolves,” the NBA team said. “The League, teams and players have come together in their support of Jackie and Karl and we are grateful for our NBA family.”

RELATED VIDEO: Karl-Anthony Towns Says to Take COVID-19 Seriously as Mother Is in Coma: ‘I Know She’ll Beat This’

Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns. Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

Last week, Towns’ college coach, John Calipari, said Jacqueline and Towns Sr. had not received the results of their coronavirus test yet, though their symptoms were consistent with the disease.

As of Monday afternoon, the United States has experienced 571,694 cases and 23,036 deaths attributed to coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, according to a New York Times database.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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