Meet David Stockton, a redshirt junior who plays for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The 5’11″, 165 lb. guard never thought he would even play at the Division I level, never mind at Gonzaga where his father, John Stockton, played.
That’s right, that John Stockton. The “Dream Team” member, NBA’s all-time assists leader, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and Gonzaga alum John Stockton.
Young David Stockton obviously has a lot to live up to.
To start, he is not even the best player on his team. That is 7′ forward Kelly Olynyk, who is a nightmare for opposing teams and has a chance to be the Wooden Award National Player of the Year. The bad news is that Stockton is not even the second or third best player on his team. See Elias Harris and Kevin Pangos.
Still, Stockton does not let that bother him. He knows that some people only think he is there because of his legendary father.
Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few respects Stockton and calls him “a fighter” and “a tough guy that can handle criticism — constructive criticism. He just comes back harder the next time. He’s really competitive.”
Stockton can play, though. He is currently 10th in conference in assists (3.1 apg), fifth in conference in steals (1.6 spg) and fifth in assists-to-turnover ratio (2.2), which are solid numbers for a walk-on turned scholarship player.
What Stockton has done that his father never did is help his Bulldogs to a No. 3 ranking in both the AP and Coaches Polls. The ranking is impressive for any program, much less a “mid-major” from Spokane, Wa., and the Bulldogs want to continue to get to that No. 1 spot.
So although dad might have all of those accolades, his son is looking to get another WCC Championship, a No. 1 ranking and possibly even a NCAA National Championship.
If he does that, he will certainly have bragging rights during family gatherings.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo