Mark Eaton, Former Jazz Center, Dies at 64

Longtime Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton died this weekend at the age of 64. The Jazz confirmed Eaton’s death.

According to sources close to Eaton said he went for a bike ride Friday night and never returned. While the cause of death isn’t yet known, no foul play is suspected.

The sheriff’s office wrote that police arrived on the scene after receiving a call about an unconscious man lying in the roadway. It was noted that Eaton appeared to have crashed his bike, and he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Eaton spent his entire 11-year NBA career with the Jazz, earning one All-Star nod and two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards.

After playing sparingly in college at UCLA, Eaton was a fourth-round pick by the Jazz in the 1982 NBA draft, but he quickly became a defensive force.

Eaton was a four-time block champion, including in 1984-85 when he averaged 5.6 blocks per game, which remains a single-season NBA record.

Aside from his huge block numbers, Eaton also set career highs in scoring (9.7 points per game), rebounding (11.3 per game), and assists (1.5 per game) in 1984-85.

The 7’4″ big man was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year that season and went on to win the award again in 1989.

Eaton was also a three-time NBA All-Defensive First Team and two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection in addition to getting his jersey No. 53 retired by the Jazz.

Overall, Eaton appeared in 875 career regular-season games and posted averages of 6.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, and 1.0 assist, while shooting 45.8 percent from the field.

Eaton is fourth on the NBA’s all-time blocks list with 3,064, and his 3.5 blocks per game is the best mark in NBA history.

Originally from Westminster, California, Eaton made his home in Summit County, Utah, after retiring from the NBA in 1993, and he established himself as a motivational speaker, per KUTV.

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