Nine months after his mother's death from complications due to COVID-19, NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns has tested positive for the coronavirus. The pro basketball player revealed that he received test results on Friday prior to the MInnesota Timberwolves' scheduled game against the Memphis Grizzlies, which has now been postponed.
The Timberwolves' center-forward posted a message on Instagram Friday explaining the situation.
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"Prior to tonight's game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID," Towns wrote. "I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol. 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 called on people to come together and make every effort to stop the virus' spread.
"We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone, it must be a group effort by all of us," he wrote. "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," he said, referring to his mom Jacqueline Towns's death last April after she was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator. Towns' father had also tested positive for the coronavirus, but was sent home to quarantine.
According to ESPN, Towns has lost seven family members to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
"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 concluded in his post.
Towns' friends responded with messages of love and support.
"Praying for you bro," posted former NFL football star and “Pop of the Morning” co-host Victor Cruz.
Towns' girlfriend, model Jordyn Woods, wrote, "Praying for you baby. You got this. God's got you."
"We with you brother," commented Towns' teammate, forward Jarred Vanderbilt.
In order to comply with the NBA's health and safety protocols, Friday night's game at the Target Center in Minneapolis was postponed.
"Tonight's game versus Memphis has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date," the Timberwolves posted on Instagram.
The Timberwolves, whose team members are undergoing contact tracing, did not have the required eight players to continue with the game, according to the NBA. This is just one of many games that had to be postponed due to COVID-19 since the season started.
Gersson Rosas, president of basketball operations of the Minnesota Timberwolves, said in a press conference Friday that it "couldn't be more heartbreaking" that Towns and his family have to go through this.
"We don't pick these situations, they pick us and a lot of it comes back to how we respond to it," he said. "Whether it's our players, our staff, our organization, it's a very resilient group. It's unfortunate, it's heartbreaking .. but we're going to continue to move forward as a group, as a family and get through this hardship."