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Former Utah Jazz trainer Don 'Sparky' Sparks passes away

Jazz trainer Don Sparks clowns it up with Jeff Hornacek at the beginning of a game near the end of the regular season.
Jazz trainer Don Sparks clowns it up with Jeff Hornacek at the beginning of a game near the end of the regular season.
GARY McKELLAR, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Jazz trainer Don Sparks, who treated players for two decades, passed away June 2 of causes related to age.

Sparks, known as “Sparky” throughout the NBA, was 90. He had been living with his son David and daughter-in-law Michelle in Bristow, Virginia, since 2013. Michelle Sparks said, “He was just as bright as could be” late in life and would go to lunch almost daily with his caregiver.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce, who is in an assisted living center.

Michelle Sparks said her father-in-law’s favorite player was the fabled Pete Maravich, who played for the Jazz in New Orleans where Sparks was the trainer. Both transitioned with the team to Salt Lake City in 1979.

“Bourbon Street to the Mormon Tabernacle was quite a move,” he said when he retired in 1994.

Sparks was named NBA Trainer of the Year in 1984.