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Utah Jazz’s Derrick Favors takes over Tabiona
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Kids line up with Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, after they here asked whose team they want to play on during the Jazz player's visit to  Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, laughs with kids during his visit to  Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Beau Bateman, 13, jumps out of the gym as he tries to block the shot of Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, during the Jazz player's visit to  Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Hayes Giles, 11, posts up Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, during the Jazz player's visit to Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Mersadie Rhoades, 7, looks to drive around Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, during the Jazz player's visit to  Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Kade Stewart, 9, reaches from his tip toes as he takes a pass from Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, during the Jazz player's visit to  Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


The Tabiona School electric sign welcomes Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, to town during the Jazz player's visit to Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, throws his arms in the air as he celebrates his team's victory in a passing game during his visit to  Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, posts up Hayes Giles, 11, during the Jazz player's visit to Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Dawson Allred, 10, tries in vane, to shoot over Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, during the Jazz player's visit to Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors, dunks the ball in the Tabiona LDS church gym, during the Jazz player's visit to Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune)  


Parents watch from the sidelines as Utah Jazz forward, Derrick Favors,  visits Tabiona, Utah and their Junior Jazz program Monday July 30, 2012.
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The pro-Lakers response was the only time Favors fell out of Tabiona’s favor.

To the children already wrapped up in the Junior Jazz program — many wore jerseys with numbers such as 24, 25 and 40, displaying affection for some of Utah’s biggest names — Favors’ appearance had a once-in-a-lifetime feel. Young Jazz players have shown up in basketball-proud Tabiona before. But it’s been a while since anyone with Favors’ stature ducked through a hallway.

For Mike Wagner, Favors’ performance was even better than imagined. Wagner said he’d been promoting the Jazz forward’s showing for weeks. A Tabiona Public School sign highlighted the event, saying the Junior Jazz proudly welcome "Derrick Favors!" in flashing golden lights. But watching Favors up close, as he laughed and joked and toyed with a small but adoring crowd, was summer perfection.

"This brings a lot of excitement, a lot of buzz," said Wagner, bishop of the Tabiona LDS church and a history teacher at the school. "This is a basketball town. When we offer sports in the high school, basketball rules the roost."

Favors ruled Tabiona on Monday.

"I really wanted [all] this my first year. How my first year went, it was kind of crazy," Favors said. "So now I’m just starting to get out, starting to prove myself as a player … just starting to have fun."

Story continues below

bsmith@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz

facebook.com/briantsmithSLT

Check The Tribune’s Jazz Notes blog at sltrib.com/Blogs/jazznotes for exclusive news, interviews, video and analysis.

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At a glance

Upcoming Junior Jazz dates

Tuesday

10 a.m. » Duchesne

1:30 p.m. » Price

4 p.m. » Emery County

Wednesday

11 a.m. » Moab

2 p.m. » Monticello

Thursday

10 a.m. » Green River

2 p.m. » South Sevier

5 p.m. » Mount Pleasant

Friday

10 a.m. » Santaquin

2:30 p.m. » Brigham City

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