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BREAKING: Jacqueline Cruz, mother of Karl-Anthony Towns, passes away due to the coronavirus

It comes with great sadness to report the passing of Jacqueline Cruz, mother of former Kentucky star Karl-Anthony Towns.

This afternoon, the Minnesota Timberwolves confirmed the devastating news that after a hard-fought battle with COVID-19, Jackie Cruz has passed away.

“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, aunt, 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. They would like to thank the medical warriors at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and JFK Medical Center, who fought for Jackie day in and day out, and helped Karl Sr. recover from the same virus that took Jackie’s life.

“The family is devastated by their tremendous loss, and respectfully requests privacy in this time of great mourning.”

Nearly three weeks ago, Towns announced that after falling ill the week before, his mother was not only diagnosed with COVID-19, but had since been placed in a medically induced coma.

According to Towns, his mother’s condition slowly began to deteriorate as each day passed, with her temperature reaching as high as 103 degrees and falling no lower than 101.9 degrees with medicine.

“She was very uncomfortable,” he said. “Her lungs were getting worse, her cough was getting worse, she was deteriorating. … One day she was feeling great, we talked, and she felt she turned a corner. I thought she turned a corner. … Then they said she went sideways, things went sideways quick. Her lungs were getting extremely worse, she was having trouble breathing. They explained to me that she had to be put on a ventilator.”

Just a few short days later, Cruz was placed in the medically induced coma.

“It’s difficult, very difficult to say the least,” the former Wildcat said. “She’s the head of our household, she’s the boss. She’s been in a medically induced coma since that day. I haven’t talked to her, obviously can’t communicate with her. I’ve just been getting updates on her condition. It’s rough.  … We’re going to keep fighting, me and my family. We’re going to beat this, we’re going to win.”

One week ago, UK head coach John Calipari told fans “Ms. Jackie” was still fighting for her life in the hospital.

“Ms. Jackie, Karl-Anthony Towns’ mother, is still in that hospital fighting. She’s there,” Calipari said in a Facebook Live video stream. “We get updates, every single day we get an update from Karl Sr. about how she’s doing from the nurses at the ICU.”

Most importantly, Calipari asked fans to continue to pray for her and send positive thoughts her way during this difficult time.

“Keep praying for her, send her unbelievably positive thoughts,” the Kentucky head coach said. “I can’t wait until she gets out of that hospital. It’s been a tough road.”

Prayers to Karl and the entire Towns family during this devastating time.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

21 Comments for BREAKING: Jacqueline Cruz, mother of Karl-Anthony Towns, passes away due to the coronavirus



  1. UKgrad80
    3:47 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    This is just awful news. My heart goes out to Karl and the Towns family. This virus is a ruthless killer.



    • trumpetguy
      5:02 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

      So sad, this virus is no respecter of persons…KAT one of the all time class guys in UK history. BBN shares your grief brother.



    • magimae
      6:55 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

      Amen, prayers for the Towns family



  2. BlueSteel
    3:52 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    Heartfelt prayers and condolences to the Towns family.



  3. Irish son
    3:59 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    This is just Heartbreaking. Condolences to the family



  4. MississippiBlue
    4:03 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    My heart hurts for this young man and his family. His mother seemed like a saint! It’s going to be a long time before he recovers from this. Hopefully the love and support of BBN lifts his spirit somewhat in this difficult time.



  5. jimlowe7
    4:24 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    Terrible losing your mother to this virus – many thousands of UK fans who were praying for her will continue praying for your family’s loss. We cannot replace her presence in your life but hope our prayers offer some comfort at least.



  6. tdub
    4:26 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    So sorry for their loss. Will continue to pray for the family.



  7. RealCatsFan
    4:28 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    Simply devastating news. I pray that the Lord will wrap his arms around the Towns family. No matter how much fame and wealth you can accumulate in your lifetime, it can’t replace the ones you love. 🙁



  8. ClutchCargo
    4:29 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    Sad couple of weeks for the UK basketball family. First Robic’s daughter, and now this.



    • RealCatsFan
      4:32 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

      Clutch, it’s just sad times that we live in these days. Seems like the bad news keeps multiplying.



  9. Cletis75
    4:41 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    So sorry to hear about your loss, Big Kat, I will pray for you man!



  10. UKFanSC
    4:57 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    Just horrible news. A death in the BBN family. Prayers to the families of this horrible virus.



  11. friendsofcoal
    4:58 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    I’m so sorry for the loss that the Towns family is suffering through right now. These are very hard times and I’m sure this isn’t the end of the bad news although I pray it is. RIP Jackie!



  12. BobbyBlue
    4:59 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    I am saddened by this news, and for the members of her family.
    RIP Ms Jackie !!



  13. dUKesUKs
    5:02 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    Prayers for the entire Towns family!!! ??
    Just awful news! R.I.P. Miss Jackie!!! ??



  14. njcat
    5:54 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink


  15. cab9560r
    5:59 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    So very sorry to hear this sad news. You hate to hear it taking anyone’s life, especially when it’s good ppl and families like this. Prayers to the family.



  16. KYCat4EVER
    6:56 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    May God be with you and your family Big KAT!

    GO BIG BLUE



  17. goose2
    9:59 pm April 13, 2020 Permalink

    So sorry to hear this. My prayers are with Karl.



  18. UKBigBlueForever
    12:23 am April 14, 2020 Permalink

    The year 2020 has been terrible so far. I can’t imagine losing my mom in the manner that KAT has. Then you have people like bigblue4ever or whatever his name is that constantly post conspiracy theories…. I mean she was 58 years old. The flu might kill people but this has a lot higher kill rate than the flu does. Every person’s life matters as much as the other but losing figures like Kobe in 2020 was just the start of a crappy year. Hopefully it will get better. It can’t get much worse.