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


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.

Heaven better be ready for you Jerry. Go coach ‘em up! Thanks for the privilege of playing for you. Rest In Peace coach. pic.twitter.com/doTeGdBNBX — Thurl Bailey (@bigTbailey) May 22, 2020

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

The @utahjazz honor LDS President Thomas S. Monson with a moment of silence ahead of the Jazz-Pelicans tip-off. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/cxqaKQIfzn — Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 4, 2018

“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.”


Lead Image: Mike Terry, Deseret News
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