Timberwolves partner with Mayo Clinic to conduct NBA antibody study

The Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the first NBA teams to realize the brutality of the coronavirus, when the mother of Karl-Anthony Towns, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns died from the disease last month. 

Now, the team has teamed up with the nearby Mayo Clinic, a non-profit medical research center, in Rochester, Minnesota to fight the disease. According to ESPN, the clinic will conduct a leaguewide study to determine the percentage of coaches, players, executives and staff who have developed antibodies to the coronavirus. 

Stanford University and Major League Baseball partnered to conduct a similar study — which showed that 0.7% of the approximately 10,000 individuals tested had the antibodies — a month ago. 

All 30 teams are expected to participate in the study, with the support of both front offices and the players' union, ESPN reported. 

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A general view before the game between the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves in game four of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Target Center. (Photo: Brad Rempel, Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

Blood samples will be collected via finger prick rather than drawing blood, per a memo obtained by ESPN. The Mayo Clinic hopes this particular study proves the finger prick method's validity for future studies and potential widespread use. 

Days after the pandemic suspended the regular season, Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to help with coronavirus testing. 

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