Virus kills 7 family members of NBA star
Karl-Anthony Towns' mother died from COVID-19 complications on April 13. Since then, the year has unfortunately gotten even worse for the NBA star.
The 25-year-old Minnesota Timberwolves centre told reporters on the weekend that he's lost an additional six members of his family from the virus - so seven all up - the most recent being his uncle, according to ESPN.
"I've seen a lot of coffins in the last seven months," Towns said. "I have a lot of people who have - in my family and my mum'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.
"Last night I got a call that I lost my uncle. I feel like I've been hardened a little bit by life and humbled."
The All-Star also said he "hasn't been in a good place" since his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, first went to hospital earlier in the year.
Towns documented his struggles with a video posted to his YouTube account in November entitled "THE TOUGHEST YEAR OF MY LIFE" and admitted he expected filming the video to be "therapeutic" for him.
He felt sharing his tragic experiences was a way to communicate to people just how serious the pandemic is, so they could hopefully avoid suffering through what he has endured.
"I didn't want people to feel the way I felt," Towns said. "I wanted to try to keep them from having the ordeal and the situation I was going through.
"It just came from a place that I didn't want people to feel as lonely and upset as I was. I really made that video just to protect others and keep others well-informed, even though I knew it was going to take the most emotionally out of me that I've ever been asked to do."
According to ESPN, Towns' father, Karl Sr., also contracted the coronavirus but has recovered.
The new NBA season gets underway in a couple of weeks and although he's keen to get back on the court, Towns will do so with a heavy heart.
"It always brought me a smile when I saw my mum at the baseline and in the stands and stuff and having a good time watching me play," he said. "It is going to be hard to play.
"It's going to be difficult to say this is therapy. I don't think (playing basketball) will ever be therapy for me again. But it gives me a chance to relive good memories I had."
This article first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Virus kills 7 family members of NBA star