Utah Jazz: Franchise legend Mark Eaton posthumously awarded

A tribute to Utah Jazz legend Mark Eaton (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
A tribute to Utah Jazz legend Mark Eaton (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Utah Jazz big man Mark Eaton was awarded the James V. Day “Good Guy” Award by The American Legion on Monday. Eaton passed on May 28, 2021. The void he has left in the community of Utah has been immeasurable, both physically and otherwise.

“He was a big man with an even bigger heart,” said James W. “Bill” Oxford, a representative of the legion.

After concluding his professional basketball career as one of the most feared shot-blockers in NBA history, Eaton went on to find considerable success as a motivational speaker. He was also renowned for his charity work, as the Mark Eaton Standing Tall foundation provided sporting activities for more than 3000 at-risk youth.

Eaton had originally planned to attend the ceremony and accept the prestigious award, and his nephew Timothy Riser accepted the award on his behalf.

“I am so honoured to celebrate this award on behalf of Mark, not just as a Good Guy but as one of the greatest men I have ever known.”

According to former National Commander of The American Legion John P. “Jake” Comer, the Good Guy Award is aptly named.

“Not everyone who is nominated for this award receives it. Many celebrities are accustomed to receiving lucrative appearance or speaking fees. We don’t offer that. I say this simply because those who accept this prestigious award truly have to be good people simply by putting veterans above financial gain” said Comer.

Eaton, by all accounts, led a charitable, inspiring life after patrolling NBA paint as a member of the Utah Jazz and 2x Defensive Player of the Year. As effective as the 7’4 behemoth was on the floor, he was more impactful off of it. The American Legion appropriately honored that legacy on Monday.

Next. 2 Free Agents the Jazz should have pursued this offseason. dark

Utah Jazz fans will not soon forget  Mark Eaton, and The American Legion has helped to ensure that others won’t either.