Brad Rock: Former Stars, BYU player Jim Eakins says ABA set the tone
Following his playing days, Eakins coached at Mountain View, Mount Vernon, Granite and Cottonwood high schools in Utah, as well as starting the basketball program at Salt Lake Community College. He and his wife served an LDS mission in Micronesia, where they lived 600 miles from the mission home.
Recently he has been inducted into the Encina High School and Northern California high schools' halls of fame.
Eakins was traded to the Utah Stars midway through his career, so he could tutor a young Moses Malone. Shortly after, he was summoned to the room of coach Tom Nissalke, who had taken over midseason for Bucky Buckwalter.
“In my first meeting with the team, I detected some negative vibes from you,” Nissalke began.
“Well, Tom, the only thing I know about you is what I’ve seen from you as an opposing coach and what I hear other coaches and players say about you,” Eakins said. “And quite frankly, all of them call you one s.o.b."
Nissalke said, “Jumbo, I promise you those players who say that are the ones that will not give 100 percent. You always give 110 percent, so you don’t have to worry about me yelling at you.”
That’s roughly how Eakins and former teammates are attacking this week’s reunion — 110 percent. A golf outing is scheduled for Friday. It’s hard to imagine there won’t be more than a little showmanship at that, too. After all, it’s in their blood.
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