Karl-Anthony Towns Gets COVID Vaccine Days Before the 1-Year Anniversary of His Mom’s Death from the Virus
The NBA player's mother, Jacqueline Towns, died on April 13, 2020, after a weeks-long battle with COVID-19.
Karl-Anthony Towns has received his first jab.
The NBA player, 25, shared a photo of himself getting the COVID-19 vaccine on Instagram Tuesday.
"Shot 1 ✅," he captioned the photo, which shows him giving the camera a thumbs-up while a medical provider administers his shot.
The Minnesota Timberwolves player's first dose of vaccine comes just days before the one-year anniversary of his mother's death from the deadly virus.
Jacqueline Towns died on April 13, 2020, after a weeks-long battle with COVID-19, the family said in a statement last spring.
"Jackie, as she was affectionately known among family and friends, had been battling the virus for more than a month when she succumbed on April 13th," said the statement, which was shared by the Timberwolves at the time. "Jackie was many things to many people—a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend."
"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," the statement continued. "Her passion was palpable and her energy will never be replaced."
Karl-Anthony's family has been particularly hit hard by the virus.
The athlete shared in December that he has lost seven family members, including his mom, to COVID-19 throughout the course of the pandemic.
"I've seen a lot of coffins in the last seven-eight months," he told reporters at the time. "I have a lot of people who have, in my family and my mom's family, gotten COVID. I'm the one looking for answers still, trying to find how to keep them healthy. It's just a lot of responsibility on me to keep my family well-informed and to make all the moves necessary to keep them alive."
Among his family members to contract the virus are his father, Karl-Anthony Towns Sr., who recovered. Karl-Anthony himself tested positive for COVID-19 in January of this year.
Last week, Karl-Anthony and the Timberwolves played the Brooklyn Nets in New York. As COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen, several of the player's family members were able to cheer him on — including his dad.
"First time being in Brooklyn since 2019.. Really emotional to see my family at a game for the first time in a long time," Karl-Anthony shared on Instagram after the game. "It's always nice being back home and to play at the Barclays Center. I know my mom would've loved to be here 🕊🙏🏾."
He added to reporters after the game — which the Timberwolves ended up losing 112-107 — that his dad's presence meant "everything" to him.
"He understood how upset I was after the loss," he said of his father, per ESPN. "But he came to me, and he told me something I don't know if he should've told me. It got me a little emotional. He told me my mom would've been proud with how I played tonight."
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This story originally appeared on people.com