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.
There were no witnesses to the crash, and no reason to believe a vehicle was involved in the incident.
— Ryan Miller (@millerjryan) May 29, 2021
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.
Absolutely stunning and heartbreaking: Former NBA All-Star Mark Eaton, who was just in Chicago to watch umpire Joe West's record-breaking game on Tuesday and attended his reception Wednesday, has died at the age of 64.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) May 29, 2021
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.