NBA Star Karl Anthony-Towns Tests Positive for Coronavirus 9 Months After His Mom Died From Complications

Karl Anthony-Towns, an NBA star currently playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, tested positive for the coronavirus less than a year after his mother Jacqueline Cruz-Towns died from complications.

By Kaitlin Reilly Jan 16, 2021 12:45 AMTags
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Karl Anthony-Towns has tested positive for the coronavirus, the NBA star revealed in a post on social media on Jan. 15. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves player, who was the NBA's no. 1 draft pick in 2015, shared that he learned he was positive for COVID-19 prior to playing in Friday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The game has since been postponed. Karl, 25, wrote that he will "immediately isolate and follow every protocol."

The positive test comes nine months after Karl's mother Jacqueline Cruz-Towns died due to complications from the coronavirus. She was 58.

Tragically, the athlete also lost six other family members to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, he shared with an ESPN reporter in December. 

"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," Karl wrote on Twitter following his positive test result. "We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone, it must be a group effort by all of us. 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."

Stars With Coronavirus

He concluded, "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."

Jordyn Woods, Karl's girlfriend, shared a message on her Instagram Story upon hearing the news. 

David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

"Be strong @karltowns," she wrote. "You're a true fighter. This is not fair or right that you were put in this position when you were just trying to do your job. You got this. Please send some prayers up."

On Dec. 23, 2020, Karl expressed his grief over his mother's death in an interview with reporters following a basketball game in which he dedicated the game ball to her.  

"You may see me smiling and stuff, but that Karl died on April 13," the NBA player said. "He's never coming back, I don't remember that man. You're talking to the physical me, but my soul has been killed off a long time ago."

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at