The NBA community is mourning the loss of Timberwolves star Karl Anthony-Towns' mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns.
On Monday afternoon, the Towns family announced the 58-year-old passed away from complications caused by the coronavirus. According to the statement, Jacqueline had been fighting the illness for "more than a month", but she "succumbed" to COVID-19 on April 13.
"Jackie was many things to many people—a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend," the Towns family said in their statement. "The matriarch of the Towns family, she was an incredible source of strength; fiery, caring, and extremely loving person, who touched everyone she met. Her passion was palpable and her energy will never be replaced."
The Towns went on to thank the "medical warriors" at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and JFK Medical Center, where both Jackie and her husband, Karl Sr., sought treatment for COVID-19.
Upon learning of Jackie's passing, the Timberwolves released a separate statement offering condolences to Karl and his family. "Jackie provided constant and positive energy for him and was beloved by our entire organization and staff at Target Center as she supported her son and the Timberwolves," the team said. "The League, teams, and players have come together in their support of Jackie and Karl and we are grateful for our NBA family."
Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Donavan Mitchell and more NBA players have spoken out on social media to express their grief and well-wishes for the Towns family. In addition, Karl's former University of Kentucky coach John Calipari tweeted, "Ms. Jackie was an angel and we were blessed to have her in our lives. I cannot imagine the heartbreak that
@KarlTowns and Karl Sr. are going through right now but my hope is we can lift them up during this time and get them through this with our thoughts and prayers."
Prior to Jackie's death, Karl donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic in support of their efforts to increase testing for the virus. "My hope is that we can fight this virus quicker and more efficiently by increasing the testing capabilities and availability and Mayo Clinic's overall COVID-19 response. This is why I will be donating $100K to support these efforts," he revealed in March.
Though the Towns appreciate the outpouring of support, they said in a statement, "The family is devastated by their tremendous loss, and respectfully requests privacy in this time of great mourning."