#31 ZELMO BEATY

"The Big Z"

Birthday: Oct. 25, 1939

Height: 6-9

Weight: 235

College: Prairie View A&M

Championship memory: "That championship means everything to me. We had such great fans and support. When they carried Willie Wise and me off the court after we won the championship game with Kentucky, it was breathtaking for me. I had never had anything like that happened to me before, and I never did again."

What is Beaty doing now? Beaty, who lives in Bellevue, Wash., works in the financial services industry and dedicates time as a substitute schoolteacher.

#24 RON BOONE

"The Chief"

Birthday: Sept. 6, 1946

Height: 6-2

Weight: 200

College: Idaho State

Championship memory: "Jackie and I made our home here. That's how much it meant to us to win the championship. I still always remind people that I played on the only pro basketball championship team to play in Salt Lake City. The support our family received from the fans in this city really changed our minds about living in Omaha."

What is Boone doing now? Boone partners with Hot Rod Hundley on Utah Jazz broadcasts. He's also an avid golfer.

#12 MIKE BUTLER

Birthday: Oct. 22, 1946

Height: 6-2

Weight: 175

College: Memphis State

Championship memory: "That was a real success story. It was really wonderful to be part of that ride. You don't get many rides like that in life. There was nothing like it. Nothing rivals it."

What is Butler doing now? He has spent the past two decades working in the transportation/distribution business. He lives in Lakeland, Tenn., where he spends his spare time playing golf, fishing and reading the scriptures.

#40 GLEN COMBS

"The Kentucky Rifle"

Birthday: Oct. 30, 1946

Height: 6-2

Weight: 185

College: Virginia Tech

Championship memory: "That championship was the defining moment of my career, especially since we were able to beat Kentucky, because I grew up in Kentucky. You don't know how much it meant to me. It made me feel like I really belonged in pro basketball. And Salt Lake City was always great to me, and my wife, Marsha."

What is Combs doing now? He resides in Roanoke, Va., after retiring as a multimillionaire from the second-largest food brokerage in the country.

#10 MERV JACKSON

"The Magician"

Born: Aug. 15, 1946

Height: 6-3

Weight: 175

College: Utah

Championship memory: "Salt Lake City has been like a second home for me. And it always will be. To win that championship game in Salt Lake City was an honor for me. After all, I played my college basketball there with Utah, too. And we were able to go to the Final Four in 1966. Those were awesome memories."

What is Jackson doing now? He lives in Sylvania, Ga., and is employed as a television sports anchor.

#14 ROD MCDONALD

"Rocket"

Born: April 9, 1945

Height: 6-6

Weight: 205

College: Whitworth

Championship memory: "I remember it was really just a fun year. Everyone was a bit apprehensive at the start, but we fell in love with Salt Lake City and in turn the city fell in love with us."

What is McDonald doing now? Married for 30 years and resides in San Jose, Calif., he works in a family business that sells sourdough to bakeries. Recently inducted into his college's Hall of Fame.

#11 DICK NEMELKA

Born: Oct. 1, 1943

Height: 6-0

Weight: 175

College: Brigham Young

Championship memory: "What sticks out most in my mind was going back to Indianapolis and beating the Pacers on their home floor (in Game 7 of the Western finals). That was a harder task than beating the Kentucky Colonels."

What is Nemelka doing now? Nemelka has been practicing law in Salt Lake City for the past 26 years.

#21 AUSTIN ROBBINS

"Red"

Born: Sept. 30, 1944

Height: 6-8

Weight: 200

College: Tennessee

Championship memory: "It wasn't so much that we won the championship. It meant more to me to do it in a city that really appreciated basketball and gave us the ultimate support. And also, the teammates that I played with. They were great. They just added to the chemistry we had with the city."

What is Robbins doing now? Red lives in the New Orleans suburb of Metraire, La., where he is a regional salesperson for LA Sports Logo, a division of Reebok.

#54 SAM SMITH

Born: Jan. 27, 1944

Height: 6-7

Weight: 230

College: Kentucky Wesleyan

Championship memory: Acquired by Utah late in the season, Smith saw little action with the Stars.

What is Smith doing now? Current whereabouts unknown. Sam's last known address is in Indianapolis.

#33 GEORGE STONE

"Radar"

Born: Feb. 9, 1946

Height: 6-7

Weight: 215

College: Marshall

Stone died of a heart attack in December 1993. According to sources at his alma mater, Marshall University, his widow lives in Columbus, Ohio.

#42 WILLIE WISE

"Wonderous Willie"

Born: March 3, 1947

Height: 6-6

Weight: 220

College: Drake

Championship memory: "It was a crazy night. The fact I could play part of my career with Big Z (Beaty) was huge for me, and chemistry we had on that Stars' team, I have never forgotten it. I will always cherish those memories. It was like living a dream — a storybook season. They can never take that championship away from us."

What is Wise doing now? The former truckline owner lives in Bellevue, Wash. He drives a cement truck on graveyards to devote time to his children.

Owner Bill Daniels

Championship memory: Daniels, who died last year, had said: "Winning the ABA championship in Salt Lake City was the greatest moment in my life. It was a thrill for me. I loved the fans in Salt Lake City. They gave us great support. It was with great sorrow that we weren't able to overcome our losses financially at that time. But at the same time, it was with great joy that I was able to repay the season ticket holders."

Daniels' legacy continues: He left a billion-dollar foundation called the Daniels Fund, headquartered in Denver with offices in New Mexico and Wyoming. The foundation is said to be expanding to Salt Lake City.

President/General Manager Vince Boryla

Championship memory: "To be part owner of the team and be able to win the championship was unbelievable for me. But I didn't think it would happen in our first year in Salt Lake City. We kind of spoiled the fans there. They thought we should win it every year after that. They're very knowledgeable fans. But they didn't realize how difficult it was to do it."

What is Boryla doing now? Living with his wife, Mary Jo, in Littleton, Colo., the multimillionare Boryla has retired from daily business. He maintains interests in land developments and owns a parking lot adjacent to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies.

Head coach Bill Sharman

Championship memory: "Winning the championship game was great for the city. But the game I remember the most was winning the seventh game of the Western Division finals against Indiana on the road. We were down by seven points at the half and came back to win. And I'll always remember the big crowd — about 10,000 people — who were there to meet us when we returned from Indiana. A parade and everything."

What is Sharman doing now? Sharman lives in the Los Angeles area and still is a part-time consultant with the Lakers.

Assistant coach Larry Creger

Championship memory: "My association with Bill Sharman and the team chemistry we had was unbelievable. You can't put a price on it. And you can't take away such a great memory for my time in Salt Lake City. The fans were great to us. All my associations I had in Salt Lake City were great for me and my family."

What is Creger doing now? He lives in the Los Angeles area, where he scouts for NBA talent and operates summer camps and tournaments for NBA players.


Dan Pattison, who was the only Utah Stars beat writer the Deseret News ever had, passed away earlier this month.