Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic announced Saturday morning through his Instagram account that his grandmother, Hana, has died.
On Aug. 2, following the Blazers’ loss to Boston at the NBA bubble, Nurkic announced that his 67-year-old grandmother, who lives in his home country of Bosnia, had been in a coma and that she had tested positive for COVID-19.
Nurkiç also urged people to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Days later, Nurkiç said that Hana was out of a coma.
He wrote that he died on Instagram today.
Blazers are playing Memphis on Saturday at 11:30 in a play-in game.
Nurkic did not speak to reporters after the game. But he told reporters in late July he had considered not playing because of his grandma’s condition and the pandemic caused by the virus.
“The last couple of days have been the toughest days of my life,” he said. “I think people don’t realize the (virus) is real out there. We’ve been fortunate to be here in a safe environment. We’re tested every day, but please take care of yourself, wear a damn mask if you need to wear it.”
She said she learned about her condition during her FaceTime call before she went into a coma. He said that he came out of a coma in early August and his condition improved.
Nurkiç was extraordinary for the Blazers at the reboot. He missed every match until March 11 this season, as a compound in his left tibia and fibula that continued in the late 2018-19 season healed from breakage.
He helped Blazers play-in, averaging 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.4 steals.
“It was obviously emotional. I couldn’t be more proud of it,” said Terry Stotts, coach of Blazers. “It’s been hanging in his head for a while. There’s never been talk of not playing. But you could tell he was on his mind.”
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