USA Racquetball Announces 2024 Hall of Fame Inductees
by Todd Boss
USA Racquetball, on behalf of the USAR Hall of Fame Committee and the USA Racquetball Board of Directors, has the honor and pleasure of announcing three new inductees to the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to Jeff Stark, Jack Huczek, and Jim Easterling, who will be inducted with fanfare into the USAR Hall of Fame at the 2024 KWM Gutterman National Indoor Championships in Tempe, AZ.
Jeff Stark is perhaps the best Age-group player in the country today. He’s dominated both singles and doubles at the National level for more than a decade, and owns dozens of National titles. Whether it is singles, doubles, mixed doubles, or Centurion, Stark’s the favorite when he hits the court. His smooth lefty swing makes him a natural in doubles or singles. Even in his older years, Stark remains a fierce competitor in Open competitions, both at the local and national level, with several Open singles quarter finals appearances and one National doubles final in 2006, which qualified him for the US National team in 2006.
He’s also known to be the utmost competitor from an integrity perspective, and has been a big part of racquetball in the Northwest for decades. His competitors speak highly of him on and off the court, and his nomination by a fellow Hall of Famer came with the utmost respect.
Jack Huczek was a Hall of Famer the moment he retired in 2008, and is inducted now thanks to his finally reaching the age-40th threshold. Huczek had the most decorated Junior career of any player in the history of the sport, claiming 13 USA Junior National singles titles and 11 Junior World Singles titles. He then moved to the Adult competitions, winning four USA National singles titles, six International singles titles, and representing Team USA for 8 years. Combined together, his National and International singles and doubles career is second to none: 22 total World Championships and 42 USA National championships in all disciplines.
His Pro career was extraordinary, with 29 Tier 1 wins (ranking him 5th all time) and a 329-97 career W/L percentage (7th all time). He won the 2006-7 season ending title by winning 9 of the 13 events. He spent 10 straight seasons ranked in the top five of the IRT, and reached the finals in exactly half of the 126 events he played in for his career.
Jim’s involvement in the sport as a contributor began with his assistance with the State of Michigan’s amateur organizations, which merged in the mid-1980s to form what is now known as RAM. By the late 1990s, he had become a mainstay on national USRA committees and began his decades long quest to begin preserving the history of the sport. He was instrumental in capturing decades of minutes of USAR meetings , which has led to the generation of the only comprehensive timeline of the sport. He has served on the Hall of Fame committee continuously since 2002, and spent 20 years on the National rules committee. In 2008, Jim conceived and organized the 35th anniversary Grand Gala at Nationals in Houston, which resulted in 25 Hall of Famers attending, still to this day the most USAR Hall of famers ever put in the same room at once.
Jim’s house serves as a racquetball museum of its own, with the largest collection of racquetballs in the world as well as a slew of historical artifacts dating to the beginnings of the game. His most recent and perhaps most important endeavor is the one that most players today will know him for; he and his wife endeavored to scan every magazine in the history of the sport and put it online at the USA Racquetball website for permanent preservation and research. This archive is priceless, and is the only place in the world where one can read the long-since ended magazines such as National Racquetball or Killshot.
Again, we offer our warm congratulations to Jeff, Jack, and Jim on this well-deserved recognition. We look forward to their induction ceremonies in Tempe, AZ, on February 10th.