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A look back at President Monson's Utah Jazz fandom and when he met Jerry Sloan

by | May 28, 2020

Legendary Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan passed away last Friday, May 27. In a recent tribute, Deseret News writer Jody Genessy, who covered the Utah Jazz during Sloan's heyday, recalled memories of the late coach and another late Utah giant—President Thomas S. Monson.

“In March 2008, the affable President Monson briefly stopped en route to his third-row seat as the Jazz huddled during a timeout,” Genessy remembers. “He greeted players, smiling and pointing at them. He gave the coach a friendly salutation. Carlos Boozer thought it was ‘cool’ after being told who President Monson was. ‘He tapped Jerry on the shoulder and it was like, “Good job, coach. You’re the best,”’ Boozer recalled. ‘And Jerry was like, “Who was that?”’ Sloan, who’d never met President Monson, also felt much better after he found out. All the better that the Jazz proceeded to go on a 27-11 run and beat the Clippers 121-101.”

Tributes to Sloan poured in last week from many notable Latter-day Saints, including former NBA player and Jazz analyst, Thurl Bailey.

Following President Monson's passing, the Utah Jazz honored the prophet both on the jumbotron and in a statement for being a true Jazz fan.

“His lifelong service and his impact on the world will always be remembered,” the Jazz released. “He was an example of pure service, always looking after those in need, including our family as he provided comfort by visiting Larry, another West High boy, many times during his long illness. We are honored to have had a close relationship with him and will miss him.”

READ THE REST OF GENESSY'S MEMORIES OF COACH SLOAN AT Deseret News

Lead Image: Mike Terry, Deseret News
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Morgan Jones

Morgan Jones comes to LDS Living after writing for the Deseret News since 2014. She published more than 480 stories and served as Senior Web Producer prior to her departure from Deseret News. Jones is a passionate storyteller and loves having the opportunity to share stories that deserve to be told. She is the host of the All In podcast. 

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