NBA world rocked by tragic virus death
There's been an outpouring of emotion in the NBA world after the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns died of coronavirus.
The franchise released a statement today confirming Jacqueline's tragic death after fighting the illness for a month.
"The Towns family is heartbroken by the untimely passing of Jacqueline Towns due to complications as a result of COVID-19," the statement read.
"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.
"Jackie was many things to many people - a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, 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. Her passion was palpable and her energy will never be replaced.
"The Towns family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received during this very difficult time.
"The family is devastated by their tremendous loss, and respectfully requests privacy in this time of great mourning."
NBA players like Trae Young and CJ McCollum, fans and media members such as Jon Krawczynski and Keith Pompey took to social media to express their grief.
Damn man. Praying for KAT and his family. Terrible News https://t.co/y2ZBMbfSxd— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) April 13, 2020
Wow... I hope everybody is taking this pandemic seriously... Continue to Pray for every family through this tough time, and hold your Loved ones Close🙏🏽❤️— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) April 13, 2020
For those who don't know, Jacqueline Cruz made the world go 'round for the Towns family. She was the light. The energy. The beating heart. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed her spirit. My thoughts are with @KarlTowns and the entire family.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) April 13, 2020
Prayers to KAT and his family wow 💔💔💔— Dwayne Polee (@teampolee5) April 13, 2020
I remember the tears on the face of Karl-Anthony Towns' mother as he thanked her during his Rookie of the Year ceremony. She was so happy for him. This is devastating news for that family. But KAT has a lot of support in Minnesota, with his Big Blue Nation family and beyond. RIP.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) April 13, 2020
Sick for KAT man... 😢😢😢— JJ Sullinger (@JJSullinger) April 13, 2020
Jacqueline had been placed in an induced coma, Towns said in an Instagram video posted last month.
"This disease needs to not be taken lightly," the Minnesota star said then.
"Please protect your families, your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Practice social distancing. Please don't be in places with a lot of people; it just heightens your chances of getting this disease and this disease … it's deadly. It's deadly.
"And we're going to keep fighting on my side, me and my family, we're going to keep fighting this. We're going to beat it. We're going to win."
Towns, the 24-year-old No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, had donated $AUD156,000 to the Mayo Clinic in the wake of the pandemic.
His father Karl Towns Sr. also contracted coronavirus, but was said to be doing well while in quarantine.
Originally published as NBA world rocked by tragic virus death