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Mark Eaton, Ron Boone Eligible For Hall Of Fame

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

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Utah Jazz alumni Ron Boone and Mark Eaton are among the eligible candidates as first-time nominees for the Class of 2019.

Eaton is among the North America committee nominations for players, coaches and referees. He was a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year award winner in 1985 and 1989 and was selected as an NBA All-Star in 1989.

The 7-4 center is one of the best defensive players in NBA history, holding the record for most blocks in a season (456) and blocked shots per game average in a career (3.50).

Eaton’s No. 53 jersey has been retired by the Utah Jazz, where he played his entire 11-year career from 1982-93. In the 875 games played, he scored 5,216 points, pulled down 6,939 rebounds and blocked 3,064 shots.

Boone is a candidate nominated by the veterans committee in the direct-elect category. He played the most consecutive games of any player in the history of professional basketball, participating in 1,041 games in a row between the ABA (662) and NBA (379).

Between the ABA and NBA, Boone scored 17,437 points playing for the Dallas/Texas Chaparrals from 1968-71, Utah Stars from 1971-75, Spirits of St. Louis from 1975-76), Kansas City Kings from 1976-78), Los Angeles Lakers for one season and the Utah Jazz from 1979-81.

The Omaha, Nebraska native was an ABA champion in 1971, a four-time ABA All-Star and an ABA All-Time Team selection. He finished his playing career with the Utah Jazz and has been a broadcaster for the team for the past 31 years.

The finalist from the North American and Women’s committee for the Class of 2019 will be announced during the NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The entire Class of 2019, including those selected by the direct elect committees, will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The enshrinement festivities will take place in Springfield, Massachusetts from September 5 to 7.