If, for some reason, the National Basketball Association folded tomorrow and the stock market went "down the toilet," Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton said he wouldn't be worried.
He's a technically trained auto mechanic."I could go down to Joe Blow's Goodyear store and do brakes or whatever . . . and the rent would always get paid and food would always be on the table," Eaton said.
But the 7-5, 295 pound All-Star is not the only job security roaming around the Eaton ranch. His wife, Marci, is a registered nurse, trained at a Los Angeles nursing school.
The couple shared their vocational education experiences during a Project 2000 seminar Wednesday night at the Davis Applied Technology Center in Kaysville.
In high school, Mark Eaton made the basketball team, but only because he was tall. His talent lacked considerably.
"I think I only played in two games my senior year."
He was perfectly happy working on cars after earning an auto mechanics degree at a Phoenix, Ariz., school.
"I had no vision of being an NBA player or of athletics being a part of my life," said Mark Eaton, explaining how a persistent junior college coach in Los Angeles literally had to beg Eaton to try out for the school team.
Success in basketball, though it came slowly and painstakingly, has been an unexpected bonus for the Eatons, who met and were married shortly after Mark graduated from high school.
Eaton, whom the Jazz drafted in 1982, said he is glad he got his diploma in auto mechanics, which he still puts to use in restoring old cars.
Marci Eaton told the crowd, mainly composed of high school students, that nursing is an excellent career and does not require a bachelor's degree from a university. She suggested that aspiring nurses get an associate degree at a nursing school or a vocation center and then go to work for a hospital that offers to pay for the nurse to get a bachelor's degree later.
Having worked in hospitals in California and Utah, Marci Eaton said the opportunities for thecareer have never been better.
Nurses with three years experience can make between $35,000 and $40,000 a year and "You can always get a job," she said.
Though she doesn't work any longer, Marci Eaton said her nursing training is extremely helpful to her as a mother.
And her husband, who often serves as a wall for opposing point guards to run into, said he's glad to have a nurse to come home to.