With the rate that coronavirus is spreading, it was only a matter of time before it impacted the Kentucky Basketball family. Overnight, Karl-Anthony Towns announced that his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, has not only been diagnosed with COVID-19, but placed in a medically-induced coma.
In an emotional video, Towns described his mother’s condition and issued a plea to fans to take the coronavirus seriously. Karl’s father, Karl Sr., has been tested and is quarantining at home.
“I wanted to make this video to show the severity of this,” Towns said. “This disease is real. This disease needs to not be taken lightly. 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 [raises] your chances of getting this disease. This disease is deadly.”
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Sharing my story in the hopes that everyone stays at home! We need more equipment and we need to help those medical personnel on the front lines. Thank you to the medical staff who are helping my mom. You are all the true heroes! Praying for all of us at this difficult time.
You can read more of Karl’s quotes in the post below this one. Our hearts go out to his lovely family, most of all Jackie.
“My mother is the strongest woman I know,” Towns said. “I know she’ll beat this. And we’re gonna rejoice when she does.”
This morning, John Calipari responded to the news on Twitter.
It took a lot of courage for @KarlTowns to talk about what they are going through. I hope everyone listens closely to him and keeps everyone around them safe.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) March 25, 2020
Kentucky is up to 163 confirmed cases
In his daily press conference, Governor Andy Beshear updated the number of confirmed cases in the state to 163, one of which is connected to a “coronavirus party” involving a group of people between the ages of 20 and 30 who purposely defied state guidance on social distancing “thinking they were invincible.”
Same. Stay home, people.
John Calipari: “Every day this happens, it’s one day that’s gone”
Yesterday, John Calipari took a break from his Alaska TV shows to answer questions from reporters on a Zoom video conference (which Ellen set up for him). He started things off by sharing his thoughts on coronavirus, urging people to stay at home to stop the spread.
“I think I’d be remiss–we’d all be missing the point if we don’t first address what we’re going through. The uncertain times, what’s happening around our country right now. First of all, we are all responsible for ourselves. Stay in your house. Wash your hands. If you go out, which you should – walking around, exercising a little bit – six feet from everyone. I think what’s happening around us, we still have to be responsible for ourselves. The other part of this then becomes, all right, now that I’m taking care of myself and I’m taking care of my family, what else can I do to help this situation and help others? It may start with helping a neighbor. Maybe you have an older neighbor who needs you to help with groceries or other things like that.”
“Stay in your house. Wash your hands. If you go out, you’re six feet from everyone. And every day – we have to look at this – every day this goes on it is one less day we’re to be in it. Because it will end. None of us know when, but we have to listen to our leaders, what they’re telling each of us to do and it will end at some point. And every day this happens, it’s one day that’s gone”
The Calipari Foundation and Kroger are working with Fayette County Public Schools to feed 400 families in need for at least the next four weeks, possibly more if schools are out past April 20.
“This is going to be ongoing,” Cal said. “For four weeks, those 400 families will get groceries. And then if they need more, we’ll do more. If it’s eight weeks or more, we’ll go that way. But for four weeks we’re going to do this.”
If you would like to help, there are two ways to donate. The first way is by texting GIVE to (859) 955-8173. The second way is by selecting the CONTRIBUTE button at www.caliparifoundation.org/contribute to access PayPal Giving.
More coverage of Calipari’s comments
Calipari talked for nearly an hour, so we’ve still got a lot of content coming your way today. Here’s what we’ve posted so far:
- Status of UK’s trip to London now “up in the air”
- John Calipari calls for NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawal deadline to be pushed back
- John Calipari says no Kentucky players have tested positive for coronavirus
- John Calipari on the mood when Ashton Hagans rejoined the team, NBA Draft decision
- After nearly earning minutes to end the season, Calipari is excited for a healthy Dontaie Allen in year two
- TRANSCRIPT: John Calipari on the 2019-20 season, coronavirus outbreak
Here is the entire conference in video form if you need something to do before the show starts:
New podcasts coming your way too
Fake Barney and I recorded a new episode of The OTT Podcast last night, which will drop on your feed later this morning. Jack Pilgrim and the Sources Say crew will also gather to give you the latest on basketball recruiting. Refresh, refresh, refresh.
“Survivor” Live Blog tonight
In a new weekly tradition, Drew, Nick Roush, and Chris Tomlin will be live-blogging “Survivor” this evening around 8 p.m., so come on by to join the fun and take your mind off things for a little bit.
KSR Dog of the Day
Meet Bentley, who is just fine with this whole stay at home thing. Want to see your pup on KSR? Send a picture of him or her wearing UK gear to [email protected] Since we’ve all got the time, be creative with it.
Have you joined KSRun on Strava?
Life is hectic right now, and the best way I know to clear my head is get outside and go for a run or walk — which is still safe! If you’re the same, please join our KSRun group on Strava, a social fitness network. We just launched it Monday and already have over 300 members. If you need any more incentive, I’m planning a virtual run for later this week with a special prize from our new sponsor, so get in there and sign up.
Tiger King is the topic of today’s radio show
If you haven’t started the Netflix docuseries about the world of exotic animal trade, you might be the only one. The gang will discuss it on this morning’s show, which starts in one hour.