Two-time Olympic gold medalist and gold medal winner at the 1992 Tournament of the Americas, John Stockton lists as one of just 22 American men who have competed on more than one U.S. Olympic Basketball Team since men’s basketball was added to the Olympic program in 1936.
A 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials participant following his senior year at Gonzaga University, Stockton made the cut to 20 finalists for the squad. Two months later, he was selected No. 16 by the Utah Jazz in the 1984 NBA Draft.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, both as an individual (2009) and as member of the 1992 Dream Team (2010), Stockton played all 19 years of his illustrious career for the Utah Jazz, where he missed just 22 games and played in all 82 regular season games in 16 of his 19 seasons.
Named in 2017 as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History as selected by a blue-ribbon panel of media, former players and coaches, current and former general managers and team executives, Stockton is a 10-time NBA All-Star and earned NBA All-Star Game MVP honors in 1993. He is a two-time All-NBA first team, six-time second team and three-time third team selection, while also being named five times to the NBA All-Defensive second team.
Stockton led the NBA in assists nine-straight seasons (1987-88 through 1995-96), including a league-record 14.5 assists per game in 1989-90, and twice paced the league in steals (1988-89 and 1991-92).
Having retired in 2003, Stockton remains the NBA’s all-time regular leader for assists (15,806) and steals (3,265).
Stockton aided the Jazz to the playoffs every year he played, and he and his 18-year Jazz and two-time Olympic teammate Karl Malone helped Utah advance to back-to-back NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998.
Despite all his success and accolades, Stockton remained humble and was rarely, if ever, boastful.
“I played 30 years competitively. Three at St. Aloysius, four at Gonzaga Prep, four at Gonzaga University, and all those years not once, never, was I the best player on my team,” stated Stockton during his 2009 Hall of Fame speech. “I had a shot at it one year because two of our best players got hurt, season ending injuries.
“I wasn't even the best player in my own house,” he continued. “My brother Steve boasts a record of about 1000-1 in bloody driveway battles and that one victory though ended all the games so that is my one claim to fame with Steve.”
However, his teammates and opponents appreciated the talent encapsulated in the 6-foot-1 guard from Spokane, Washington.
Following the 2020 airing of The Last Dance, Stockton’s two-time Olympic teammate Charles Barkley said, “Magic Johnson is the greatest point guard ever, but he’s a freak of nature,” he said. “But Isiah Thomas and John Stockton are the two best pure – when I say pure, I mean little guys to play the point guard position. They’re the best to ever do it.”
A 2017 College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Stockton was the 1984 West Coast Athletic Conference (now the West Coast Conference) Player of the Year after averaging 20.9 points per game and a two-time All-WCAC selection (1983, 1984).
His No. 12 jersey was retired by Gonzaga on Feb. 18, 2004, and by the Jazz on Nov. 22, 2004.
Stockton and his wife Nada have six children, including his namesake who competed on a pair of 2017-19 USA Basketball World Cup Qualifying Teams.
Halls of Fame:
USA Basketball Notes
|1996 OLY||8/1||96/12.0||10-19||.526||1-2||.500||9-11||.818||6/ 0.8||30/ 3.8||22||0||12||13|
|1996 EXH||5/2||69/13.8||8-11||.727||1-1||1.000||3-5||.600||8/ 1.6||20/ 4.0||16||0||9||5|
||4- 8||.500||1- 2||.500||2- 3||.667||1/ 0.3||11/ 2.8||8||0||2
|1992 EXH||DNP -- Injured|
||5- 6||.833||0- 1||.000||0- 0||.---||1/ 0.3||10/ 5.0||12||0||1