Former Utah Jazz coach Sloan battling Parkinson's disease

Former head coach of the Utah Jazz Jerry Sloan watches the team play the Dallas Mavericks, at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2012 (AFP Photo/Melissa Majchrzak)
Former head coach of the Utah Jazz Jerry Sloan watches the team play the Dallas Mavericks, at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2012 (AFP Photo/Melissa Majchrzak)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is battling Parkinson's disease and dementia, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The Hall of Fame coach disclosed the illnesses during an interview, published on Wednesday, at his home in Riverton, Utah, telling the Tribune he was diagnosed late last year.

Sloan said he decided to discuss the diagnosis publicly because his symptoms, which include tremors and a hushed voice -- have become noticeable to others.

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"I don't want people feeling sorry for me," said Sloan, who told the newspaper he still walks four miles a day.

Parkinson's disease is progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement, with tremors a common symptom.

Sloan said he also has Lewy body dementia, a neurological disorder that affects memory and analytical thinking and is the second most common form of dementia behind Alzheimers.

Sloan, 74, coached the Jazz from 1988 to 2011. He was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and is the third-winningest head coach in NBA history.

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