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Mother of Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns dies from coronavirus

April 13 (UPI) -- Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, died due to complications from the coronavirus, the team announced Monday. She was 58.

"Jackie was many things to many people -- a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend," a Towns family spokesperson said in a statement through the team. "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.

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"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."

Last month, Karl-Anthony Towns posted an emotional video on his Instagram page and revealed that his mother was in a medically induced coma and placed on a ventilator due to COVID-19.

In the video, the NBA All-Star center said that his mother and father started to experience symptoms of the virus. His father, who also tested positive for COVID-19, eventually recovered, but his mother continued to struggle in her recovery.

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"She just wasn't getting better," Towns said in his video. "Her fever was never cutting from 103, maybe go down to 101.9 with the meds, then immediately spike back up during the night. She was very uncomfortable. Her lungs were getting worse, her cough was getting worse. She was deteriorating."

In a separate statement released Monday, the Timberwolves said Jacqueline was her son's No. 1 fan.

"The Timberwolves organization is incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Jacqueline Towns due to complications from COVID-19," the team said. "In the four-plus years we were fortunate to know Jackie, she became part of our family. Her passion for life and for her family was palpable.

"As Karl's number one fan, 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 league, teams, and players have come together in their support of Jackie and Karl and we are grateful for our NBA family."

Karl-Anthony Towns, who frequently talked about his close relationship with his mother, previously said she worked for the medical department at Rutgers University for more than 20 years.

Before publicly sharing his mother's medical condition, Karl-Anthony Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to assist in its efforts to fight the coronavirus.

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