Coronavirus: NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns' mother dies after contracting COVID-19

Karl-Anthony Towns in action.
Karl-Anthony Towns in action. Photo credit: Getty

Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, the mother of NBA star Karl Anthony Towns, has died, due to coronavirus-related complications at the age of 58, the family announced on Tuesday (NZ time).

Late last month, Towns confirmed that his mother had been placed in a medically-induced coma, imploring fans to take every necessary precaution to help stem the spread of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, a statement from a family spokesperson was posted to Towns' Minnesota Timberwolves Instagram page, sharing news of her passing.

"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 13," it read. 

"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."

Towns' father, Karl Sr, had also tested positive for COVID-19, but was "recovering well" in quarantine, according to ESPN reports.

Last week, Towns donated $US100,000 ($NZ163,000) to help expand COVID-19 testing capabilities.

The 24-year-old Towns - the No.1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and two-time All Star - grew up in New Jersey, where his mother worked at Rutgers University for 20 years. 

The Timberwolves paid tribute to Cruz-Towns, and her influence on both her son and the wider team environment.

"Jackie provided constant and positive energy for him, and was beloved by our entire organisation and staff at Target Center, as she supported her son and the Timberwolves," the team said.

"The league, teams and players have come together in their support of Jackie and Karl, and we are grateful for our NBA family."