Mother of NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, died at the age of 58 due to COVID-19.
“Jackie was many things to many people – a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend,” the Towns family said in a 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.”
A few weeks back, Towns appeared in a video that he posted on social media. He spoke about his mother coming in contact with coronavirus. Towns further stated that the purpose of his video was to set an example for others to take the pandemic seriously.
The Towns family thanked medical staff for their support. “The Towns family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received during this very difficult time,” the family’s statement continued.
“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 from the same virus that took Jackie’s life.”
For those who don’t know, Jacqueline Cruz made the world go ’round for the Towns family. She was the light. The energy. The beating heart. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed her spirit. My thoughts are with @KarlTowns and the entire family.
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) April 13, 2020
When Karl-Anthony Towns committed to Kentucky
Shortly after the death of Towns’ mother, a video surfaced on social media of a time when Towns committed to Kentucky University.
Stumbled on this video of Karl-Anthony Towns and his mom when he committed to Kentucky and now I’m sobbing pic.twitter.com/Rtb3Eqwxhg
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) April 13, 2020
After playing a year for Kentucky, Towns declared himself for the NBA draft. In 2015, Minnesota Timberwolves drafted him with the first overall pick. The big man has been playing for the Wolves since then, making two All-Star appearances over his five years.
After his mother passed away on Monday, the Wolves paid tribute to Cruz-Towns’ role in her son’s career.
“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 in a statement. “The League, teams, and players have come together in their support of Jackie and Karl and we are grateful for our NBA family.”