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03-03-2009, 10:28 PM
Former Hog Dillard reunites with ring from championship

Northwest Arkansas Times

Published: Monday, March 02, 2009 PRINT E-MAIL

For Alex Dillard this wasn't just a reunion with his national championship teammates.

It was reuniting with his national championship ring.

A 3-point specialist shooting guard on Arkansas' 1994 national championship team whose 12 treys in a game still is a Razorback record, Dillard returned to the Razorbacks' Celebration of Champions long without his national championship ring.

"I gave it to somebody that meant a lot to me at the time," Dillard said, referring a former girlfriend. "She sold it to E-Bay."

At last Saturday night's banquet, the forerunner to former coach Nolan Richardson and the 1994 team he coached being honored during halftime of Sunday's Arkansas-Georgia game, Dillard got his ring back.

He got it courtesy of Mrs. Marilyn Elliott of Searcy, giving it in behalf of her late husband, Dr. Robert Ellliott, who had bought it on E-Bay.

Wayne Stehlik, the former Arkansas assistant Mrs. Elliott contacted about the ring, gave Dillard the ring at the banquet and then introduced Mrs. Elliott to Dillard before Saturday's game.

"That was very emotional because that was something that I had worked for at the university and I gave it to somebody that meant a lot to me at the time," Dillard said. "She sold it to E-Bay. So for [Marilyn Elliott] to give that back to me, that was a true blessing. There were tears last night."

And of course hugs and emotional thanks given Sunday over a ring restored.

"My husband heard about it on 'Drive-Time Sports,'" Mrs. Elliott said of how they came to possess the ring. "He called his secretary and said, 'Al Dillard's ring is on E-Bay. You buy it.'"

When Elliott was informed the bidding on the ring was on the rise, he was undeterred and had his secretary bid until he won the ring.

"Robert was that type of person," Mrs. Elliott said. " [He] gave a lot for scholarships and he cared about kids."

Elliott's intention was to return the ring to Dillard all along, but life and eventually death intruded.

Elliott died and the ring remained in storage until Sunday's celebration of the Razorbacks' Dream Season was scheduled.

Through her son-in-law's acquaintance with 1994 Final Four MVP Corliss Williamson, Mrs. Elliott contacted Stehlik, a Nolan Richardson assistant who was vital in putting together the reunion.

"Wayne said I will get that ring back to [Dillard]," Mrs. Elliott said. "It makes the circle complete because that's what Robert wanted and I am really proud."

So was Dillard, proud both to receive the ring and meet a lady he'll never forget.

03-03-2009, 10:40 PM
Dumbass. You don't give that kinda stuff up for a good lay!