Suns Prospect, Coach Bond Bridged Long Ago

Arizona Sports News online

All David Stockton is looking for is a chance.

Just like the guy he one day hopes to play for.


By now most are aware the undersized, savvy point guard from Gonzaga looks, acts and plays a lot like his father John whose Hall-of-Fame career includes all-time NBA highs in both assists (19,711) and steals (15,806).

But you may not realize the younger Stockton and Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, also a one-time NBA long shot, go back aways.

“He coached his son and I was on his son’s team in second or third grade,” Stockton told in a recent phone interview. “We went to the championship. I knew his coaching abilities were pretty good then. I wish the Suns would have asked me when they were looking for a coach but they got it right, anyway.”

The 5’11, 165-pound rookie free-agent signee won’t be playing for Hornacek when the Suns open Las Vegas Summer League play Saturday afternoon (assistant Mike Longabardi will be coaching) but you can bet the entire staff will be keeping an eye on the player whose basketball IQ closely resembles his dad’s.

“It comes from being a student of the game and watching a ton of high-level basketball when I was a little kid,” Stockton explained. “Admiring the guys like my day, Jeff and Karl [Malone]. I really learned how the game was played from there.”

Another thing many probably don’t realize is Stockton’s love for sports stretched far beyond the hardwood playing football, baseball and even hockey growing up in Spokane, Washington in the middle of an ultra-competitive family surrounded by two older brothers who both played college sports.

Through it all he said his parents never pressured any of them to play if they didn’t want to.

But in the Stockton household athletics was a part of life.

A big part.

Along the way David leaned on his father for career advice in the sport he excelled at for nearly two decades at the highest level.

“He just loves the game,” he said. “He’ll sit up and talk basketball all night. He’s got such a love for the game still.

Like father, like son.

Next Reads