After a year of tragic losses, NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns showed just how difficult the season has been for him during an emotional embrace with his father on Mother’s Day. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves center broke down before the start of his game on Sunday against the Orlando Magic, visibly upset over his mom’s passing, Sports Illustrated reported.   

In a press conference post-game, Towns shared that he and his mother were very close. 

“I just have so much to thank my mom for,” Towns said. “I feel like if I didn’t have her and my father and my sister, I don’t think I would have the character I have, nor would I have the strength to hold the character I have through what the NBA life contains and the job contains, as well.”

On April 13, 2020, Towns lost his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, 58, due to COVID-19. According to Sports Illustrated, she died just 19 days after being diagnosed. His mother was one of a total of seven family members, including Towns’ grandmother, to die from the virus, as Blavity previously reported

Sunday marked the second Mother’s Day Towns and his father, Towns Sr., experienced without her. His father also contracted the virus in 2020 but recovered shortly after. Towns, 25, had also tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss 13 games earlier in the season, according to CBS Sports.