The Timberwolves center confirmed his diagnosis on social media Friday night, about nine months after his mother, Jacqueline Towns, passed away from COVID-19 complications. In total, the athlete has reportedly lost six other family members to the virus.
"... I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all of the necessary precautions," Towns wrote in a statement. "We cannot stop the spread of the virus alone, it must be a group effort by all of us. It breaks my heart that my family, and particularly my father and sister continue to suffer from the anxiety that comes along with this diagnosis as we know all too well what the end result could be. To my niece and nephew, Jolani and Max, I promise you I will not end up in a box next to grandma and I will beat this."
Towns said he will immediately go into quarantine and will take every safety precaution. His girlfriend Jordyn Woods sent out a tweet asking for prayers:
News of the diagnosis comes shortly after the NBA announced Friday's game between the Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzles had been postponed. According to Fox Sports, the league made the decision due to COVID-19 concerns and because the ongoing contract tracing left the Wolves without the required minimum of eight players heading into the game.
The NBA has now postponed a total of 13 games this season, 12 of which were postponed this week. In wake of the recent COVID outbreaks among NBA teams, the league announced several changes to its list of restrictions. These include requiring players to wear masks on the bench at all times, as well as prohibiting athletes from leaving their hotels when on the road.