Former Hog getting back on his feet


Published Friday, June 14, 2002

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Former Arkansas basketball player Ron Huery sold his NCAA Final Four ring from 1990 in hopes of using the money to clear up some legal problems and get his life back on track.

Huery, 34, a native of Memphis, got $1,500 for the ring and wants to use the money to pay $3,000 in fines and interest from 1991 traffic violations in his hometown. Huery said he hasn't driven in years and wants his license back so he can get a better job. He said lately he has been driving a forklift for minimum wage.

But once he's back on his feet, he wants to return to Fayetteville, Ark., to finish the 29 hours he has left toward his degree. First, Huery said he wants to spend at least another year in Memphis to be with his son, Joshua Stafford, a sophomore guard in high school.

Huery began play at Arkansas in 1987 and continued through 1991. His numbers place him in the top 10 in five categories at Arkansas, including fourth in assists. He ranks 12th on the school's career scoring list.

Huery said life may be easier for him in Fayetteville.

"If everything works out, I might stay in Fayetteville," Huery told The Commercial Appeal newspaper. "It's a growing town and it was good to me. People welcome you there with open arms."

Huery is getting some help from Mark McEntire, president of the Memphis-East Arkansas Razorback Club. McEntire purchased the Final Four ring from Huery in January for $250 and sold it recently on eBay, with Huery's consent, for $1,500. The buyer was Jay Hurt of Jonesboro, McEntire said, someone both the men knew. Hurt attended the UA from 1986-91.

McEntire said he'll put the money toward the $3,000 in fines and interest Huery owes the city of Memphis for the traffic violations.

Huery needs to settle the outstanding fine to get his driver's license back. Once he is driving again, he should be able to get a better job.

"If you get that license," McEntire said he told Huery, "I can guarantee you I can get you a job."

Huery said he hasn't driven in nearly eight years. He was placed on probation for that long in 1994 after a Memphis cocaine possession charge. He also was charged with drunken driving and driving on a revoked license.

Since the probation began, Huery has played in several minor professional basketball leagues -- including a stint in Venezuela -- and held a variety of minimum-wage jobs.

McEntire said Huery wants a sales job. He said he helped Huery find items of value that could be turned into cash, such as the rings.

McEntire said he was initially reluctant for Huery to part with the Final Four ring and one from a Southwest Conference championship. McEntire bought the SWC ring for $150, but has not placed it on eBay.

"Right now surviving to me is more important than the rings. I love my rings and everything, but I can always order another one," Huery said.

Huery and McEntire became acquainted when McEntire invited Huery to be a guest at the annual Memphis-East Arkansas Razorback Club spring meeting in West Memphis.

"If it wasn't for Mark, things would be a lot rougher for me right now," Huery said. "He is not a rich guy. He is really doing this as a friend. He's not handing over money. He's looking out for me and trying to help me keep my head up."