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Karl-Anthony Towns tests positive for COVID-19 after losing mom, 6 other family members to the virus

Ryan Young
·4 min read
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After COVID-19 has devastated his family, Karl-Anthony Towns announced on Friday night that he had contracted the coronavirus himself.

The Minnesota Timberwolves star — who already lost his mom and six other family members to the coronavirus — revealed he had contracted the coronavirus just hours before they were supposed to host the Memphis Grizzlies in Minneapolis.

That game was postponed by the league, marking the 13th postponement so far this season. All but one of those has come in the last week.

Towns, he wrote on Twitter, is now isolating.

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“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 of the necessary precautions,” Towns wrote on Twitter. “We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone, it must be a group effort by all of us. 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.”

Towns, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said, is one of two people who returned positive tests within the organization in the past two days.

“For him to have to go through this … it’s heartbreaking,” Rosas said, via Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It hurt. Karl is the most important part of this organization. For what he’s gone through and Karl Sr. has gone through, it’s heartbreaking.”

Towns lost seven family members to COVID

Towns suffered perhaps more than anyone else in the sports world last year.

The 25-year-old’s mom, Jacqueline, died in April due to the coronavirus. Jacqueline, a nurse, was placed into a medically induced coma — something that first prompted Towns to urge Americans to start taking the pandemic seriously.

He later revealed that six other family members, including his uncle and his grandma, had also died due to the coronavirus.

Naturally, basketball didn’t seem very important to him after that.

“I don’t even recognize most of my other games and years I’ve played and how I felt those days,” Towns said last month after dropping a double-double in their season-opener. “If I can be honest with ya’ll for a second, I mean, I don’t really recall or really care. I only understand what happened from April 13th on.

“Because you may see me smiling and stuff, but that Karl died on April 13. He’s never coming back, I don’t remember that man. You’re talking to the physical me, but my soul has been killed off a long time ago.”

Towns, who is in his sixth year in the league, has played in just four games this season for Minnesota while dealing with a lingering wrist injury. The former No. 1 overall pick averaged 26.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game last season.

The NBA postponed three more games on Friday due to the pandemic, bringing the grand total up to 13 less than a month into the 2020-21 season. All but one of those postponements came within the last week — which prompted the league to introduce new health and safety protocols.

Despite Towns’ and others’ pleas, the pandemic is raging throughout the United States like never before. The country recorded more than 238,000 new cases on Thursday alone, according to The New York Times, and nearly had 4,000 new deaths. More than 4,400 people died on Tuesday, an all-time record.

“It’s a lesson for all of us,” Rosas said, via ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “Basketball is a microcosm of society right now ... This virus is powerful.”

Towns then ended his post with a pledge to his family.

“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,” he wrote.

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves
The coronavirus pandemic has hit Karl-Anthony Towns and his family extremely hard. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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