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#pounditThursday, September 16, 2021

Former Jazz All-Star Mark Eaton dies — dead at 64

Former Utah Jazz All-Star Mark Eaton died suddenly at the age of 64.

Eaton, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, went for a bike ride Friday evening in Summit County, Utah at around 8 p.m. and did not return home, according to Cristina Flores and David James of KUTV. A cause of death is not yet known, but no foul play is suspected.

He was found after appearing to have crashed. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Eaton’s death came as a total shock. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that he was just in Chicago on Tuesday to watch umpire Joe West break baseball’s record for most games umpired of all-time.

Eaton played center for the Jazz from 1982-1993. He led the NBA in blocked shots per game four times, including a career-best mark of 5.6 blocks per game in 1984-85. His no. 53 has been retired by the team. After his retirement, he served as an occasional TV commentator for the Jazz, and was also a motivational speaker.

Younger NBA fans may remember Eaton best for his role in helping Utah’s Jeremy Evans win the 2013 Slam Dunk contest.

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