SPORTS

Remembering my minute with Mark Eaton

Jun 1, 2021, 6:35 PM

Mark Eaton...

Mark Eaton signs his new book at the Jazz 100 Club in the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, March 30, 2018. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, former Jazz center Mark Eaton was found unconscious on the side of a road near his home in Summit County after a bicycle accident.

According to the team, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said that Eaton was taken to a hospital, where he later died. There was no reason to believe a vehicle was involved in the accident, according to ESPN

Eaton was 64. 

But it’s more than just a news story about a distant sports icon to me. I recall meeting Mark Eaton at an odd moment: while broadcasting a story — actually, a “My Minute of News” — outside the arena where the Utah Jazz were about to play in the NBA Playoffs. 

Jeff Caplan’s Mark Eaton story

It happened three years ago. 

I created a “minute of news” about the history of the Utah Jazz. With that minute, I wanted to educate all of the new people moving into Utah that Karl Malone and John Stockton are not just car dealers. 

I went through the team history. You know, like I do. 

But the moment that minute hit the airwaves, I sat outside Vivint Smart Home Arena just before a playoff game on May 4, 2018. We were broadcasting outside, creating sort of a playoffs party on the station patio. 

I remember this because the tallest guy I’d ever seen just sat down next to me.

Mark Eaton: Humble giant

Mark Eaton crunched his 7-foot-4 frame into our little tent. He put on headphones. As “My Minute of News” was on the air, he’s nodding along and making little comments off-air.

“That’s right. I remember that,” he said, chuckling.

He’s telling me little stories off-air while my minute of news plays.

It was thrilling for me. When I create my “minutes,” I’m usually alone in a room. But here’s Mark Eaton — a Jazz All-Star laughing along and enjoying my work.

There’s no way he would have remembered that time we spent together. But I’ll never forget. That’s the thing about this humble giant. He constantly created moments that people he never met will never forget.

And that is a life well-lived.

Read more: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Sports

Ahead of the NHL to Utah party on Wednesday, Utahns crowded the plaza of the Delta Center and waite...

Simone Seikaly, Eric Cabrera, Emma Keddington, Adam Small

Utahns showing up for the NHL in Utah

Ahead of the NHL to Utah party, Utahns crowded the plaza of the Delta Center and waited in long lines for the party to start.

10 hours ago

The Vrbo Fiesta Bowl sign...

Chandler Holt

Utah native named Fiesta Bowl Yellow Jacket Committee chair

The Fiesta Bowl Yellow Jacket Committee has named Ryan Hatch as its chair.

15 hours ago

zach wilson...

Sam Herrera

LISTEN: Zach Wilson reportedly traded to Denver Broncos

KSL Sports producer Kyle Ireland joined Jeff Caplan's Afternoon News to discuss Zach Wilson's reported trade.

2 days ago

NHL announcement...

Adam Small

How an NHL team helps Utah for the 2034 Winter Olympics

An NHL team is officially coming to Utah. How will the new franchise help a possible 2034 Olympics in our state?

6 days ago

The Delta Center shown...

CHANDLER HOLT AND JAY STEVENS, KSL SPORTS

League approves new NHL team in Utah, owned by Ryan, Ashley Smith

The NHL Board Of Governors approved the establishment of a new hockey franchise (previously Arizona Coyotes) in Utah by Ryan Smith.

7 days ago

photo of the Arizona Coyotes on a rink...

Kyle Ireland, KSL Sports

Coyotes express thanks for Arizona, look forward to support of Utah

Multiple Coyote players shared thanks for their time in Arizona and looked forward to the move to Utah with optimism.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Remembering my minute with Mark Eaton