Karl-Anthony Towns is in the midst of grieving the heartbreaking loss of his mother Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, who died of COVID-19 complications on April 13. Despite his personal hardships, he’s shown “incredible” strength in recent weeks, according to the Timberwolves president in a new story with ESPN.
“For any of you guys that know Karl-Anthony Towns, he’s a very educated and intelligent individual who understands what’s going on,” Wolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said Wednesday. “And I give him and his family a lot of credit because as they were going through this tragedy, they showed us the example.”
Towns and his family have continuously given back to the Minnesota community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including the $100,000 donation to the Mayo Clinic Towns made to aid in test development. The donation was expected to increase testing capacity at the clinic’s site from 200 tests per day to over 1,000 tests per day, according to a release by the clinic.
“He’s a very proactive individual who’s gone through a lot, [and] has shown an incredible amount of character and toughness going through the loss of his mother,” Rosas said of the former Wildcat.
@MayoClinic has begun rolling out a test to detect the virus that causes COVID-19. 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. pic.twitter.com/af9vcO711p
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) March 16, 2020
The Timberwolves will be able to begin individual workouts starting Thursday. Workouts will be limited to a 45-minute maximum, and only one player and one coach will be allowed on the floor together at the same time. The two must stay separated by at least 12 feet, and masks must be worn at all times, except when players are actively on the floor.
“Our guys are educated; they understand what we’re going through. They understand the risks and they understand all the situations that we’re living through right now, and they’re making educated decisions,” Rosas continued. “We’re confident our players are in a good place, and they want to be back. They want to be in an environment that they’re familiar with but they understand that it’s a first step and it’s a small step. For some of them, it’s just the opportunity to mentally get in a place where it’s a safe haven for them, and I know that’s the case for Karl.”