John Stockton is an American retired professional basketball player. He spent his entire NBA career (since 1984–2003) as a point guard for the Utah Jazz, and the team made the playoffs in each of his 19 seasons. In 1997 and 1998, together with his longtime teammate Karl Malone, Stockton led the Jazz to the franchise’s only two NBA Finals appearances.
Stockton is a ten-time NBA All-Star and a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (in 2009 for his individual career, and in 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team “Dream Team”). In 1996, he was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. Stockton holds the NBA records for most career assists and steals by wide margins and is regarded as one of the greatest point guards of all time.
Born in Spokane, Washington, to Clementine Frei and Jack Stockton, Stockton’s ancestry is Irish and Swiss German. He attended grade school at St. Aloysius and moved on to high school at Gonzaga Prep and graduated in 1980, after breaking the city record for points scored in a single basketball season.
After considering offers from Don Monson at Idaho and Mike Montgomery at Montana, both in the Big Sky Conference, Stockton decided to stay in Spokane and play college basketball for Dan Fitzgerald at Gonzaga University. Similarly, he became the third generation in his family at GU; grandfather Houston Stockton was a well-known football player for the Bulldogs in the 1920s.
Later, Fitzgerald was also the athletic director; he stepped away from coaching for four years after Stockton’s freshman year and promoted assistant Jay Hillock to head coach. During his senior year for the Bulldogs in 1984, Stockton averaged 20.9 points per game, shooting 57% from the field. The Zags posted a 17–11 record, their best in 17 years, and Stockton led the West Coast Athletic Conference in scoring, assists, and steals.
In June 1984, Stockton was selected by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 1984 NBA draft with the 16th overall pick. A relative unknown during his college career, his stock rose significantly in the months before the draft. Nevertheless, the announcement of his selection to the thousands of Jazz fans gathered at the Salt Palace on draft day was met with a stunned silence.
Stockton became the starting point guard for the Jazz in the 1986–87 season. In 1988–89, he played in his first All-Star Game, and led the NBA in assists per game for the first of nine consecutive seasons.
On January 15, 1991, Stockton scored 20 points and dished out a career-high and franchise-record 28 assists in a 124–102 home win against the San Antonio Spurs. Later, on February 12, Stockton nearly recorded a triple-double after putting up 19 points, 11 assists and 9 steals in a 113–92 win over the Houston Rockets.
On May 2, 2003, Stockton announced his retirement with a released statement instead of the customary news conference. The Jazz later held a retirement ceremony for him, in which Salt Lake City renamed the street in front of the venue then known as Delta Center (now Vivint Smart Home Arena), where the Jazz play, John Stockton Drive.
The Malone and Stockton statues stand on a bronze plaque commemorating their achievements together. Moreover, Stockton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. Stockton was also inducted into the Hall of Fame along with the rest of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team in 2010.
Stockton missed only 22 games in his 19-season career. In his first 13 seasons, he missed only four games (all in the 1989–90 season) until he missed the first 18 games of the 1997–98 season due to an injured MCL in his left knee sustained in the preseason. That was the only major injury in his career, and he never missed another game after returning from that injury.
Stockton earned the “old school” tag for his physical play. Similarly, surveys of athletes and fans alike often judged him. Among the toughest players in the NBA, usually just behind teammate Karl Malone. His patented “short shorts” became known as “Stocktons”. Since he continued to wear the style long after the rest of the league had adopted a baggier look.
Stockton, along with other NBA stars, played on the basketball team in that year’s Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The 1992 team was the first U.S. Olympic squad to feature NBA players. The team became known as the Dream Team; the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame called it “the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet”. Stockton also played on the 1996 U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team. Stockton won gold medals with both the 1992 and 1996 teams.
Following his retirement, Stockton started coaching in youth teams, being “an assistant on seven or eight teams at once” in 2003. The Jazz also invited Stockton to train both Deron Williams and Trey Burke. Stockton also became involved in various businesses.
In 2013, Stockton released an autobiography entitled Assisted. The book was written with the assistance of his junior high school coach, Kerry L. Pickett. Karl Malone wrote the foreword. Stockton was on the Jazz’s long list of coaching candidates to replace Tyrone Corbin, before the selection of Quin Snyder.
On October 27, 2015, Stockton joined Montana State University’s women’s basketball program as an assistant coach to replace Kellee Barney. Barney left the program to pursue a career in business, and Stockton had previously coached four of the players on the MSU women’s team during Amateur Athletic Union leagues.
Hust Stockton, Stockton’s grandfather (also named John Houston Stockton) played professional football. Similarly, that was for the Frankford Yellow Jackets in the nascent National Football League in the 1920s; Stockton was a member of the Yellow Jackets’ 1926 NFL Championship team.
Stockton and his wife, the former Nada Stepovich. She is the daughter of Matilda Stepovich and Mike Stepovich. Similarly, the last territorial governor of Alaska, reside in Spokane, Washington. They have two daughters (Lindsay and Laura) and four sons (Houston, Michael, David and Samuel). Stockton and his family are devout Roman Catholics.
- Full Name: John Houston Stockton
- Date of Birth: March 26, 1962
- Age: 58
- Birth Place: Spokane, Washington
- Nationality: American
- Listed height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
- Listed weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
- High school: Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Washington)
- College: Gonzaga (1980–1984)
- NBA draft: since 1984 / Round: 1 / Pick: 16th overall
- Selected by the Utah Jazz
- Playing career: since 1984–2003
- Position: Point guard
- Number: 12
- Spouse: Nada Stepovich (m since 1986)
- Children: David Stockton, Laura Stockton, Michael Stockton, Samuel Stockton, Lindsay Stockton, Houston Stockton
- Number: 12 (Utah Jazz / Point guard), 12 (Gonzaga Bulldogs men’s basketball / Point guard)
- Education: Gonzaga University (1980–1984), Gonzaga Preparatory School (since 1980)
- Net Worth: $45 Million
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Reference Net Worth of John Stockton