“The Utah Jazz are profoundly saddened at the unexpected passing of Mark Eaton, who was an enduring figure in our franchise history and had a significant impact in the community after his basketball career,” the Jazz said in a statement. “Mark played his entire 11-year NBA career with the Jazz and his number was retired as an NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. His presence continued around the organization as a friend and ambassador while giving back as a businessman and volunteer to his adopted hometown in Utah. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Teri and their extended family. Mark will be greatly missed by all of us with the Jazz.”
Eaton spent his entire 11-year NBA career with the Jazz, starting in 1982 and finishing in 1993. He was never a scorer — his career scoring high was 9.7 in 1984-85 and his career average was six points — but at 7-foot-4, he made his mark on the defensive end with his shot-blocking and rim protection.