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Two teams later, Kyle Korver keeps making positive impact in Utah

Former Jazz forward has soft spot for Utah

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27 2013 12:40 a.m. MST

The Korvers don't have an extensive background in building ramps. In 2009, they were informed that many Utah children and adults have that need because of accidents, abuse, injuries, genetic disorders, spinal cord issues, cerebral palsy, etc.

While Kyle Korver played for Chicago and Atlanta in 2012, Utahns benefited from the foundation.

Last year alone, SEER Group built 2,050 linear feet of ramps, including 28 structures for kids. That literally required tons of material — 14,000 pounds of concrete, 6,150 square feet of Trek decking, 5.5 tons of welded steel, 245 copper solar cap lights and 205 gallons of paint.

Those 41 ramps required 3,800 hours of donated service.

Total community value?

$344,400.

Klay Korver said they try to abide by this philosophy: "If you can do something for somebody, you do it because you can."

To that point, Klay said Kyle is a bit hesitant to take credit for the ramps and other charitable services that his foundation provides.

"What he does is enables people to do what they've always wanted to do and are passionate about," he said. "It's pretty neat."

This is also a great way for the Korvers to stay connected to a state where they forged many good recollections and relationships from 2007-10.

"I really liked Utah," Kyle Korver said. "I had a really good 21/2 years there, a lot of really good friends, a lot of good memories."

That was a pleasant surprise.

"Coming into it," he said, "I didn't really know what to expect with Utah."

It was his first trade (Philly got Gordan Giricek in return in late 2007). He left a comfortable environment to fly solo in Salt Lake City. A lot of things were "up in the air" in his life at the time.

But Jazz fans embraced him, and he embraced them back. That's what he remembers more than any successes the perennial playoff team had.

"I think it was more life there that I'll always remember. I really enjoyed playing for those fans," Korver said. "We had such a great home record there. It was like a college atmosphere every single night. It was fun to play basketball there."

Korver recalled the Jazz having struggles with a particular team from Los Angeles about every postseason while he was in Utah, but he enjoyed being part of "a really good team led by Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur.

"I thought we left a little bit on the table. I think we could've done a little bit more," Korver said. "We ran into a hot Laker team, a good Laker team, every year it seemed like.

"(But) I thought we played good, fun basketball and it was a healthy life there."

One hundred and 16 families — soon to be 117 — will forever be grateful for how he ramped up his charity work in Utah during a 21/2-season stay many fans thought was all too short.

"He's a pleasant heart. He cares about where he lives. He's a giving person that wants to take care of his community as much as he can and be a part of it," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, an assistant under Jerry Sloan during Korver's Utah playing days. "He's a tremendous teammate. He's easy to work with from a coaching standpoint."

Of course, the Jazz would love it if Korver focused more on his ramp-building efforts rather than reminding them of his 3-point shooting prowess during his brief return visit.

email: jody@desnews.com

twitter: djjazzyjody

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