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Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey speaks during a press conference about Danté Exum, Derrick Favors and Raul Neto re-signing with the Utah Jazz at the Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 6, 2018. (Deseret News)
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Utah Jazz Training Staff Honored For Handling Of COVID-19

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz athletic training staff is being honored for the way it handled the team’s COVID-19 outbreak. The Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder are the recipients of the 2019-20 Joe O’Toole/David Craig Athletic Training Staff of the Year Award.

Both are being honored for their diligence and expertise in handling the first NBA case of COVID-19,” The release read. “Which included managing the testing of players and staff and coordinating their safe return home.

The March 11 game between the Jazz and Thunder was postponed after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Then, within hours the NBA announced it was suspending all games across the league.

The Jazz training staff was responsible for finding the team a hotel in Oklahoma City that night. Then, the staff had to arrange how to get the team back to Utah. That included finding flights for Gobert and Donovan Mitchell who had tested positive for the virus.

The award is nominated and voted on by all NBATA members. The Jazz staff includes Mike Elliot, Eric Waters, Erik Phillips, Barnett Frank, and Jordan Harding.

Mike Elliot’s Role

Elliot worked closely with Jazz coach Quin Snyder to spread awareness about the coronavirus. Afterward, Elliot and Snyder teamed together to find a way for the Jazz players to get home from Oklahoma.

Furthermore, Elliot shared with Snyder the results of Mitchell’s positive test.

During the league’s hiatus, Elliot has been instrumental in paving the way for the Jazz to retake the floor. The Vice President of Performance Health Care helped design home workout regiments for each Jazz player. Additionally, Elliot helped the team prepare the Zions Bank Basketball Campus for players to return to practice.

The Jazz opened their doors in early March for players to once again work out on an individual basis.

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