Joe Ingles Shares Unique Bond, Condolences To Eaton Family

May 31, 2021, 1:20 PM | Updated: 1:21 pm
joe ingles - utah jazz...
Joe Ingles #2 of the Utah Jazz looks on in a preseason NBA game against the Adelaide 36ers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 5, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Before game four between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies, guard Joe Ingles shared a story about Mark Eaton, adding to the outpouring of support and fond memories of the late Jazz center.

Eaton passed away tragically on Friday night after an apparent bike accident in Summit County.

As the longest continuous member of the Jazz, Ingles and his wife Renae formed a bond with Eaton and his wife Teri.

“Mark and Teri sat behind Renae for about five years,” Ingles shared. “So his knees would be over the top of the seats right next to Renae’s head.”

Eaton is one of the tallest players in NBA history, standing an imposing 7’4. Despite his massive frame, the center is remembered as one of the kindest players to ever grace the basketball floor.

“He was always unbelievably nice and friendly, both him and Teri talking to Renae every game,” Ingles recalled.

The Jazz guard said Eaton and Renae had a chance to reconnect in one of the team’s family and guess rooms one last time before the center’s untimely accident last week.

“It had been a few years that they sat a row in front of each other or Renae sat a row in front of them,” Ingles said. “I think it was game one, he saw Renae from across the family room and was yelling her name and waving at her.”

Eaton is one of the greatest players in Jazz history, earning two Defensive Player of the Year awards in the 1980s, in addition to five All-Defensive team selections, and an All-Star appearance in 1989.

“Obviously, an extremely sad time,” Ingles said. “Just wanted to give Teri and the Eaton family a little shout out and know that we’re here for them. And if they need anything, we’ve got their back.”

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