It's that time of the year, after the season ends, where rumors abound and the speculating begins. Some of the current rumors are about who may be leaving. Will it be Mangisto Arop? What about Coach Ray Giacoletti? Is he going to be here next season? Are we going to acquire highly regarded Bryce Jones, the USC transfer?
Wouldn't it be neat if a rumor like this started...and it became reality? "John Stockton will become an assistant coach". If Ray Giacoletti leaves, and he has been looking, I would like John Stockton to be named Gonzaga's next assistant coach.
Gonzaga's great point guard John Stockton's number is retired and hangs in the rafters of the MAC. He is a Hall of Fame NBA Player and is named one of the NBA's top 50 players of all time, but he can also coach!
He has helped Courtney Vandersloot, of the Gonzaga Ladies Basketball Team, to become an All American. He has helped his son, David Stockton, to become a player who gets significant minutes. He was instrumental in helping to get our offense flowing while the Zags went on an 11-1 record to finish the season.
Women's Basketball Coach Kelly Graves suggested that Courtney Vandersloot call John Stockton and ask for coaching advice. She is very shy, so it took her a couple of weeks to get up the courage to call, but she finally did and the results have been incredible.
From David Trimmer, Spokesman review March 12-2011:
"That phone call to John Stockton and the subsequent coaching sessions were the latest building in pushing Vandersloot into the discussion as the best playmaker in the women's game and Gonzaga's continued rise in national prominence. Getting tips from Stockton was "just an opportunity of a lifetime," she said. One-handed passes, floaters in the lane, footwork, "things that no one would ever think of, but he has that knowledge he can share," Vandersloot said. "The things he does are all based on confidence," she added. "The things he was teaching, I was thinking that had to be a low-percentage pass or low-percentage shot. The fact is, if it's done with confidence it becomes a high percentage. That's what he always harped."
With John Stockton's help, Courtney has become one of, if not the, best player in the country. She is the only NCAA basketball player in history to have 2000 points and 1000 assists in a career. She was named to the John Wooden All American Team for 2011 and lead the Lady Zags to the Elite 8.
John has also been instrumental in helping develop his son David. DS has come along way from starting out as a guy hoping for a shot at making the team as a walk on, to a player that was instrumental in helping the Zags turn this season around. Here is a 5'11, 150 lb wisp of a player that barely had any looks from Div 2 teams averaging 23.5 minutes per game guiding the mighty Gonzaga offense with his laser beam, lighting passing and great court vision.
Imagine how much fun and beneficial it would be to have John Stockton coaching say, Kevin Pangos? Pangos recently said that one of the things he was so excited about coming to Gonzaga for was that he hoped to be able to work with John Stockton.
I can envision a not so distant future where our highly touted Big Man specialist, Donny Daniels, works on the same team as Mr. Zag, Fall of Famer, and point guard specialist John Stockton. Who knows? Maybe with his tutelage, Kevin Pangos will be an All American point guard someday!
John Stockton brings a lot to the table. He knows little nuances that only can be learned from playing a Hall of Fame NBA career. He has demonstrated his coaching abilities by his success with Courtney and David. I say, let's try to get him on board.
Is this a good idea? Can he make a good coach for Gonzaga? Is it even remotely possible to lure him in?