June 15, 2024

Utah Basketball is grieving the loss of Kenny Gardner, a former player who passed away at 75 years old in Salt Lake City.

Gardner, following in his uncle Vern Gardner’s footsteps, chose to play basketball for the Utes, despite having opportunities in baseball, football, and basketball at various colleges. His NBA career with the Phoenix Suns was cut short by injury, but he went on to have a successful professional basketball career in France.

Runnin' Utes Mourn Loss Of Kenny Gardner

After retiring from sports, Gardner faced heart failure and needed a heart transplant. His transplant came from Nick Longshore, a former BYU football player who tragically passed away in an ATV accident in Idaho in 2013. This event not only gave Gardner a new lease on life but also forged a meaningful relationship between Gardner and Longshore’s family.

Gardner’s life was as remarkable as it was large, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

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