July 6, 1996 in Washington Voices

Ron Sloan A Model Of Overachievement

By Correspondent
 

One of Ron Sloan’s short-term goals was to live long enough to watch his brother, Rick, coach Central Valley High School’s basketball team.

“He didn’t make it,” Rick said.

For Ron Sloan, 34, who died last week following a four-year struggle with Hodgkins Disease, it was one of few objectives he failed to achieve.

But the memory of the man who played basketball for the Bears in 1979 and 1980 and then went on to run a successful contracting business will live on with the Ron Sloan Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship will be given annually to a player coached by his brother who is a hard worker, exceptionally competitive and an overachiever.

“Those were Ron’s qualities,” said his brother.

He was mistakenly listed in his junior year in the 1979 Greater Spokane League basketball program as his younger brother even though Rick wasn’t even on varsity yet.

Although not as gifted an athlete as his younger brother, by his senior year Ron had made his own name. His frenetic style, a product of his work ethic, led to a scoring average of 18.2 points per game, sixth-best in league, a year after he had scored 32 points in 11 games.

“Nothing came easy to him,” said Rick. “He was a guy who after a game found a basket and took 100 more shots because he was not pleased with his performance.”

High school and recreation league teammate Brent Harken said Ron was the best shooter and strongest competitor he has seen in his life.

“We had buzzer shots eight times and Ron with the ball,” Harken said. “Seven times they went down. He found a way to win.” His passion for hard work enabled him to continue to play basketball at Western Washington University and would carry over into his contracting business.

Ron, said his brother, was the real hero - a guy who started with nothing and created something, providing jobs to as many as 15 full-time people.

Valley attorney Howard Herman, who was a consultant to Ron, said “What struck me for such a young guy working his way up in the world was his uncommon sense of doing what was right and fair,” to his clients and employees.

Ron’s intentions were to teach and coach. While in college he borrowed his father Stan’s dump truck and did hauling. By the time he was out of college he owned two trucks.

He began Always Active, an excavation and sewer line installation company. When he became ill a second time, said his brother, he had a backlog of year’s almost a worth of work on the books.

“He was extremely proud of what he did in business,” said Rick.

Four years ago, Ron Sloan was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease, and underwent intense chemotherapy treatment.

The cancer went into remission but recurred a year and one-half ago. He died Sunday with his family present. He was a fighter, said Rick, until the end.

Ron and Rick Sloan attended basketball camps together beginning in the fourth and third grades and played basketball together in Ron’s senior year of high school.

“I was fortunate to have played with him,” said Rick.

Ron never missed a University of Idaho football game when Rick played. He once drove from Bellingham to Bozeman, Mont., in minus-10 degree weather to attend.

When Rick began coaching football, Ron was always available to offer advice.

“He was my biggest fan and biggest critic,” Rick said. “I’ll miss not having that.”

A message would be left on his recorder after football games questioning Rick’s play calling in short-yardage situations.

“His thing was the element of surprise,” said Rick.

That input will be absent after his first basketball game. But despite the tragedy of Ron Sloan’s untimely death, Rick said, there was something to be gained by the example he set.

“Life is short,” said Rick. “Treat people with respect and live each day to the fullest.”

That was Ron Sloan’s credo, on the basketball court, in in business and in life.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: MEMORIAL SERVICE A memorial service for Ron Sloan will be held at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Berean Bible Church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Ron Sloan Memorial Scholarship, c/o U.S. Bank, 15426 E. Sprague, Veradale, WA 99037.

This sidebar appeared with the story: MEMORIAL SERVICE A memorial service for Ron Sloan will be held at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Berean Bible Church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Ron Sloan Memorial Scholarship, c/o U.S. Bank, 15426 E. Sprague, Veradale, WA 99037.


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