In a new interview, Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl Anthony-Towns shared a sweet memento he still keeps from his mom, who passed away from COVID in 2020.
“There’s just way more joy in his game,” says Timberwolves coach Chris Finch.
Finding joy this season has been a challenge for Towns, but not because the transformative big man lacks skill at what he does.
“Being happy on the hardwood has helped him become happier in his life,” wrote Spears, a noteworthy observation to make because Towns lost his beloved mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, to COVID-19 in April 2020.
After a month of enduring complications from the virus, Cruz-Towns passed away on April 13 at 58 years old. The vaccine was months away from being developed, and the New York City metropolitan area was the epicenter of the coronavirus last spring.
The death of his mother deeply affected Towns, who forgot to celebrate his 26th birthday on Nov. 15 because his mother was the one who made his “birthday special.”
Karl-Anthony Towns preserves memory of mom with last slice of birthday cake
Birthdays are not the same without her, but Towns has preserved a piece of her memory from those annual celebrations. Towns said he still has “a big piece of his last birthday cake that his mother gave him in 2019 in his freezer that means the world to him.”
“I know it’s not good to eat, but it’s a memento as one of the last things she gave me,” Towns said. “Birthdays and stuff like that haven’t been really special to me, because she was the one who made it really special for me. She was the one who got me amped to have a birthday or to have that moment. But my [girlfriend Jordyn Woods] did an amazing job of filling her shoes in and making it special.”
Towns said that holidays don’t feel the same without his mother, making Thanksgivings without her difficult as well. For that reason, Towns planned on spending his Thanksgiving alone this year, with “space to reflect on his mother.”
“I’m going to spend some time with myself, realign, have a spiritual day and pray a lot, have some spiritual moments with my mom, hopefully,” Towns said. “And just really chill. Have some leftovers, maybe, whatever it be.”