Los Angeles Clippers center Montrezl Harrell, who left his team in Florida two weeks ago for a family emergency, announced the death of his grandmother on social media.
In an Instagram story posted Friday that he headlined “I love U Grandma,” he wrote a touching tribute to her that ended, “I don’t know how I’m do it but I got to find some way but losing you today isn’t going to make any day I wake up easy.”
He left the NBA bubble near Orlando on July 17, and the team did not elaborate.
In the 2014-15 media guide for his junior season at Louisville, Harrell listed his father and grandmother as the greatest influences on his athletic career.
It is unknown whether the woman’s death was caused by COVID-19. On Friday, Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic announced his grandmother, who lives in Bosnia, was hospitalized in a coma as a result of the virus and encouraged the public to wear a mask.
Harrell is expected to return to Orlando and the bubble, and the 26-year-old would have to quarantine for at least four days under NBA protocols.
He averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 63 games (two starts) before the season was halted on March 11 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Clippers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 103-101 on Thursday night in their return to play. They are scheduled to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.