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Utah Jazz hire Eric Waters as head trainer

Head trainer Eric Waters, left, walks with Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce to the lockerroom after getting hit in the left eye while facing the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Denver.
Head trainer Eric Waters, left, walks with Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce to the lockerroom after getting hit in the left eye while facing the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Denver.
David Zalubowski, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz have continued to bolster their athletic training staff, as the organization announced the hire on Wednesday of USA men's national team and former Washington Wizards trainer Eric Waters as head athletic trainer.

Waters comes to Utah with an impressive resume. In addition to the duties he's held with the national team since 2014, he was named the NBA’s Athletic Trainer of the Year by the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) following the 2009-10 season with the Wizards.

On the downside, he was let go by Washington after a 2015-2016 campaign in which the team was bit by the injury bug.

He replaces Brian Zettler, who left the Jazz last spring after 14 years with the organization.

A graduate of both Iowa and Boise State, Waters was with Washington from 2004-2016. Before that, he was the assistant athletic trainer for the Chicago Bulls, and he has also held positions with Northwestern, Iowa, in NFL Europe and the Carolina Panthers of the NFL.

He has also been involved with the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program.

The hire of Waters is the second Utah has made this week in its athletic training staff. On Monday, the team announced the addition of former Phoenix Suns director of performance Mike Elliott to serve in the newly created position of vice president of performance health care.

Elliott was named the NBA Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the National Basketball Strength and Conditioning Association (NBSCA) following the 2013-14 season.