Karl-Anthony Towns tested positive for COVID-19, just nine months after his mother, Jacqueline Towns, died of the same virus. The virus also killed his uncle and five other members of his family.

Towns received treatment at an area hospital, then quarantined at home for the next few weeks.

“I’ve had a lot of situations this year where things were just too much for me,” Towns says. “I just remember [quarantining] in the house, and it was more than just COVID for me. I felt like I was going through a holistic journey.”

Towns was cleared on February 1st and had worked his way back after losing 50 pounds while recovering from COVID-19. “I was as big as D’Angelo [Russell],” he jokes. “I was as big as our guards. You think I’m gonna play center?”

While Towns solved his weight problem with a high-calorie diet, he had the symptoms of a panic attack in his first game back.

When the first quarter ended, Towns rushed back to the locker room and he texted his agent: “I can’t be out here anymore. I can’t do this.”

Towns keep on playing as it felt like it could provide a blip of relief. 

“[My mother] made basketball fun for me my whole entire life,” Towns said. “She made it where I wanted to even do this. So for me, I was like, [There’s] too much on my mind. I’m not, I can’t, nah, I can’t.”

Despite the tumult facing the Wolves during his tenure, Towns is interested in a contract extension.

“My chips are all on the table,” Towns said. “So it’s up to the Wolves, you know? If they give me the chance to stay there I fa’ sho would take it. The ball is in their court.”