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It was only natural that I would become a fan of the Utah Jazz. Though I was born in Oklahoma, my family moved to Utah when I was five. Plus, my family has deep roots in Utah and Idaho (my family is as Mormon as they come).
My earliest memories of basketball itself involves the Jazz. My first friend in Utah, an older boy named Shawn, taught me how to play and we spent hours in his driveway playing. Usually, we would pretend we were various players on the Jazz. It was the early 2000s, so that meant guys like John Stockton, Karl Malone, John Starks and Bryon Russell.
For some reason, my first favorite player was Donyell Marshall. I don’t know why, but that’s the way it was. One Christmas, I received a Utah Jazz basketball along with a Donyell Marshall jersey (which I still have). On that occasion, my little self declared “This is the best Christmas EVER!”
For the next decade, my fandom was more casual. I still rooted for them, occasionally went to games and was generally aware of what went on with the team (such as Deron Williams getting traded and Jerry Sloan retiring), but I’m not crazy about it the way I am now. That development came during the first years of the Ty Corbin era.
I began by frequently posting on ESPN forums (this was before you had to use Facebook to comment) and I quickly became entrenched in my fandom. Instead of being vaguely aware of games and scores I knew everything the Jazz were doings. I frequently studied statistics, trends and what they meant going forward.
And I haven’t stopped since.
I am a student of journalism at Utah State University. Sports defines my life as much as anything else and is nearly as important to me the very air I breathe. My favorite sport varies with the season. In the Fall I worship the NFL, but with the turn of the new year (or depending on how good my teams are doing) I will transition to the NBA.
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