Karl-Anthony Towns leaned back on the white couch, a 7-foot All-Star center with size 20 shoes, around $53 million in career earnings from basketball alone in the bank and another $130 million on the way.

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ center is, almost literally, larger than life. And yet when he started speaking publicly for the first time about the loss of Jacqueline Cruz, about the gut-wrenching phone call he had to make to his grandmother to let her know that her daughter was not going to make it, about Jackie’s descent into the COVID-19 nightmare beginning at the very New Jersey hospital where he was born, the tears started streaming down his face and washing all the superlatives away.

Sitting there on the couch with interviewer Natalie Manuel Lee guiding the conversation, Towns was just a 24-year-old young man who missed his mom.

“It just hurts. It hurts so bad every day,” Towns said in a video posted Monday on his YouTube channel.





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