Former Utah Jazz All-Star center Mark Eaton, who died unexpectedly in late May at the age of 64, was posthumously honored on Monday by The American Legion at its national convention in Phoenix, Ariz. with its 2021 James V. Day “Good Guy” Award.
Eaton joins the likes of Lou Holtz, Johnny Bench, George Foreman, Richard Petty and Dolly Parton as a recipient of the award.
“Mark Eaton was a spectacular NBA All-Star for the Utah Jazz and played for 12 seasons. More importantly, the 7’4” defensive player was a big man with an even bigger heart,” national commander James W. “Bill” Oxford said in an announcement about the award from The American Legion.
Former national commander John P. “Jake” Comer said that Eaton had been slated to speak at the convention.
Eaton, of course, became very well-known as a motivational speaker after his professional basketball career concluded.
Eaton’s nephew Timothy Riser accepted the award and said, “I am so honored to celebrate this award on behalf of Mark, not just as a Good Guy but as one of the greatest men I have ever known.”