This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A former Utah Jazz big man with a checkered past is headed back to jail this time for stealing about $300 from a Davis County hotel.
Robert Antwon Whaley, a second-round draft pick in 2005 who played 23 games for the Jazz during his NBA career, was arrested last May 1 for burglarizing a Marriott hotel in Layton. According to court documents, Whaley entered the hotel through a locked gate and made his way through an employee entrance. There, Whaley pried open a drawer and stole $314.
The 33-year-old was caught on video surveillance and arrested later that day.
Whaley pleaded guilty in January to a third-degree felony count of burglary, a charge carrying a possible prison term of 0-5 years. The former ballplayer was sentenced Monday in 1st District Court by judge Michael G. Allphin. Whaley's prison term was suspended and instead he was ordered to serve 60 days in the Davis County Jail.
It is simply the latest run-in with the law for the 6-foot-11 Whaley.
Whaley was a talented but troubled prospect before his NBA career ever began. He stood trial on charges of sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 2000, but the proceedings ended in a hung jury. He also faced assault charges stemming from a 2003 brawl when he was a student at a Kansas community college.
Whaley was drafted by the Jazz with the 51st pick in 2005 out of Walsh University. That same year, he and fellow rookie Deron Williams were involved in a fight with a group of Denver Nuggets fans at a Park City nightclub. No punches were thrown but Whaley and Williams were cited for giving the police fake names and Whaley faced further team discipline for lying about a cut he had suffered on his hand.
In 2008, Whaley, out of the NBA by then, was placed on probation for a drug charge in his home state of Michigan, according to a report. Two years later, Whaley was arrested in Salt Lake City and police found marijuana hidden "between his buttocks." The incident resulted in a parole violation and jail time for fallen ex-pro.
By 2014, however, Whaley said he was turning his life around. The towering Whaley was coaching an AAU team for fifth graders in Davis County and said he had put his troubles with the law behind him.
"I take full responsibility for everything that's happened to me," Whaley said in a Tribune feature that summer. "Some of the stuff that's happened is because of who I was. I understand that's how it goes. But I tried to cheat life and that didn't work out for me. When you try every way, the only way is to fly right. I'm married now, and I have a good support system around me. I look at coaching and I feel like I've found my calling."
Whaley has been ordered to report to jail by Saturday at 10 a.m.