UTAH UTES

Utah Basketball Mourns Loss Of Kenny Gardner

May 22, 2024, 4:54 PM | Updated: 4:55 pm

caroline-longshore-feels-her-husbands-heart-in-former-utah-basketball-player-kenny-gardner...

Caroline Longshore and Kenny Gardner. (Photo Cred: Deseret News)

(Photo Cred: Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Runnin’ Utes are mourning the loss of former player Kenny Gardner who passed away at the age of 75.

Garner is the second former Utah basketball player with an incredible legacy to pass away in the last two years.

Gardner led a full life having his pick of playing baseball, football, or basketball for a myriad of different colleges. He ultimately chose to follow in his uncle Vern Gardner’s footsteps and play basketball for the Utes.

From there, Gardner had an opportunity in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns that was cut short by injury that ultimately led to a great career playing professionally in France.

As interesting as Gardner’s early life was- it pales in comparison to his latter life.

Kenny Gardner Gets A Second Chance At Life Thanks To A BYU Football Player

Soon after Gardner retired from sports, he began to experience heart failure that ultimately led to him needing a heart transplant.

Where that transplant match came from is a story in and of itself.

Nick Longshore- a former BYU football player tragically passed in an ATV accident in Idaho back in 2013.

Longshore’s death ultimately gave Gardner a new lease on life. It also sparked what turned into a beautiful relationship between Gardner and Longshore’s wife Caroline and daughter Hannah.

Needless to say, Gardner led a life as large as he was and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Basketball Mourns Loss Of Kenny Gardner