SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kings rookie Kyle Guy is urging people to follow public health orders after losing a loved one to the coronavirus.
Guy shared his grief in a moving tribute to his grandfather Saturday on Instagram. Guy said his grandfather died Friday night, apparently after contracting COVID-19 in the global coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 57,000 worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
“Last night my grandpa passed away to be with the Lord,” Guy said. “Covid-19 has destroyed a lot of families. I urge and beg you all to take this seriously. You don’t want this to be what wakes you up.”
The Kings selected Guy with the 55th pick in the 2019 NBA draft after he helped lead Virginia to the NCAA championship. Guy was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament after scoring 24 points in an overtime victory against Auburn in the championship game.
Guy was a prized recruit out of Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, where he earned Indiana Mr. Basketball and McDonald’s All-American honors. Guy said his grandfather was always a source of inspiration for him.
“When I was 7 or 8 my grandpa had me sign a piece of paper saying he’d be my manager (jokingly) if I ever made it to the NBA,” Guy said. “Something as small as that was always on my mind while I tried to make that dream come true. I know he’s up there waiting for his cut … and one day, I’ll give it to him.”
Guy, a 6-foot-1 guard, appeared in only two games for the Kings before the NBA suspended its season due to the coronavirus outbreak, but he was excelling for the team’s G League affiliate in Stockton. Guy appeared in 37 games for the Stockton Kings, averaging 21.5 points, 4.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 40% from 3-point range.
Hundreds of well-wishers responded to Guy’s Instagram post with prayers, love and support, including teammates Buddy Hield and Richaun Holmes and former teammates such as Frank Mason III, Wenyen Gabriel and Dewayne Dedmon.
“Appreciate those who have reached out and been praying over our family,” Guy said. “Stay safe and continue to LISTEN to the rules put in place for this worldwide pandemic. We will get through this.”
©2020 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)