The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly wreaked havoc across the world. Its lingering effects and ramifications continue to be felt around the NBA. Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns is among the many players whose families and close friends were affected the most by the highly-contagious virus.
The 25-year-old Dominican-American has endured a lot in his personal life as of late, as he lost yet another family member to the coronavirus. His uncle passed away recently — making him the seventh member of KAT's family to succumb to the virus. On Friday, an extremely emotional Towns addressed the hard times he's been facing and offered a curt response about how this affects his basketball career moving forward. Per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic:
KAT on returning to play after losing his mother and six others to COVID, including an uncle just last night. pic.twitter.com/TzkmcPqQK6
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) December 4, 2020
Like most talented young ballers growing up, Karl-Anthony Towns relished in the opportunity to have his loved ones in the stands each time he takes on the court. Family is everything for the two-time All-Star, as his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, was with him throughout his basketball journey.
KAT's world shattered to pieces last April when Jacqueline lost her battle to COVID after battling symptoms for over a month. She was 59. The Timberwolves center has since dedicated his time to offer help to those affected by the virus, donating $100,000 to support the Mayo Clinic's rollout of a test used to detect COVID-19.
While most players view playing basketball as a temporary respite from the real world, it's nice to see a guy like Towns be candid about mental health throughout these trying times. Competitive sports are indeed a great outlet when personal hardships arise, but it's not supposed to be as therapeutic as most people make it out to be.
Despite the turmoil he is facing in life right now, KAT remains determined to bring the Timberwolves back to relevance in the 2020-21 campaign, set to begin on December 22.