Jazz GM Justin Zanik Returns To Team Post Kidney Surgery

May 24, 2024, 12:47 PM

Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik...

Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik (Courtesy of Utah Jazz)

(Courtesy of Utah Jazz)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik has rejoined the team after undergoing a kidney transplant in April.

Zanik underwent surgery on April 2 after experiencing kidney failure throughout the 2023-24 basketball season.

The Jazz announced on social media that Zanik had returned to the team’s practice facility little more than seven weeks after the surgery.

Zanik’s return coincides with the Jazz’s pre-draft preparation which shifted from the NBA Combine in Chicago back to Salt Lake City this week.

The Jazz own the 10th, 29th, and 32nd pick in the draft set for June 26-27.

Zanik Received Kidney Through National Exchange

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

Through the APKD, a family friend of the Zaniks in Milwaukee donated his kidney to another anonymous recipient on behalf of the Jazz general manager.

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

“We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to University of Utah Health and their incredible medical staff,” The Zanik family said before the surgery. “The care, expertise, and guidance they have provided our family and many others, has been invaluable.”

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.

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.

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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 GM Justin Zanik Returns To Team Post Kidney Surgery