Jazz General Manager Justin Zanik To Undergo Kidney Transplant

Apr 1, 2024, 8:15 AM | Updated: Apr 5, 2024, 3:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz announced that general manager Justin Zanik will undergo a kidney transplant.

Zanik has been experiencing reduced kidney function throughout the 2023-24 NBA season due to polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and is in line to undergo surgery to receive a new kidney on Tuesday.

“The Utah Jazz send our love and support to general manager Justin Zanik, his wife Gina, and their family,” the Jazz wrote in a release.

“JZ is an instrumental part of our organization, and we look forward to his return in the coming weeks.

Zanik Receiving Kidney Through National Exchange

Zanik will receive his donation via the Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation which links living donors with recipients in need of a healthy kidney.

Through the APKD, Jeff Hart, a family friend of the Zaniks based out of Milwaukee will donate his kidney on behalf of the Jazz general manager to another anonymous recipient.

In return, Zanik is eligible to receive a kidney from a donor on the registry who is donating on behalf of someone in their life who is also in need of a kidney.

“As we take the next step in this journey, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to University of Utah Health and their incredible medical staff,” The Zanik family said. “The care, expertise, and guidance they have provided our family and many others, has been invaluable.”

“We also want to recognize and thank the Living Donor Program for the extraordinary life-saving work that they do,” the Zaniks said.

Zanik’s History With The Utah Jazz

Zanik, 49, has been one of the few holdovers in the Jazz front office since undergoing an ownership change in 2021.

“We are immensely thankful to Ryan and Ashley Smith and our entire Utah Jazz family,” the Zaniks said. “The love we have felt and continue to feel is immeasurable. We are humbled and grateful to all of the donors that signed up to donate on Justin’s behalf.”

In 2012 Zanik was hired by Jazz Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey before leaving the team to join the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016.

Related: Justin Zanik On 2024 NBA Draft

Zanik returned to the Jazz in 2017, and remained with the team when Danny Ainge was named CEO in 2021.

The Jazz signed Zanik to a multi-year contract extension in 2022.

“Justin looks forward to getting back to work in the coming weeks, and greatly appreciates the organization’s continued support during this process. To our families and our friends, thank you for your continued love, support and prayers.”

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Jazz General Manager Justin Zanik To Undergo Kidney Transplant