Stockton's Number 12 Headed To Rafters
Feb. 16, 2004
SPOKANE, Wash. - Number 12 is headed to the rafters.
Gonzaga University athletic director Mike Roth announced Monday that John Stockton's No. 12 jersey will be retired at halftime of Wednesday's basketball game between the Bulldogs and the University of Portland. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. for the sold out contest in The Kennel that will also include a Fox Sports Northwest television audience.
Although the famous No. 12 hasn't been worn since March 12, 1984 - Stockton's last game as a Bulldog - Wednesday's ceremony will officially retire perhaps the best-known number in Gonzaga athletic history.
Stockton returned to Spokane fulltime last summer after announcing his retirement from a 19-year NBA career with the Utah Jazz.
"This is something we've wanted to do for many years," Roth said of officially retiring Stockton's number. "But we wanted to do it right. With John playing in the NBA it wasn't convenient for he and his family to come to Spokane and be a part of a Gonzaga basketball game so we could retire his number. Now that his NBA career is over, with him living in Spokane and the fact this is the final year for Bulldog basketball in The Kennel, the timing was right."
Stockton, a product of Spokane's Gonzaga Prep, played for the Bulldogs from the 1980-81 season through the 1983-84 season. He was named the West Coast Athletic Conference (since shortened to West Coast Conference) Player of the Year in 1984 after being a first-team selection as a junior. He left Gonzaga as the all-time leader in assists with 554 and steals with 262, third in career field goal percentage at 55.9 percent and sixth in scoring with 1,340 points. He also set single-season marks for assists with 204 and steals with 109, both records coming his senior season. He also set single-game records with nine steals and tied the single-game assists record with 13. Stockton was the first player in GU history to score 1,000 points and hand out 500 assists.
In addition to earning Player of the Year honors as a senior, he was also named to the United Press International All-West Coast first team, to the United States Basketball Writers Association All-District 8 first team and the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America second team. He led the conference in scoring with his 20.9 ppg average and in steals with 109. He scored in double figures all 28 games.
In July of 2002 he was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame in ceremonies held in New York and emceed by Academic All-America Hall of Fame spokesperson Dick Enberg.
Following his Gonzaga career he attended the USA Basketball Olympic Trials and was the final player cut from the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team. He was the 16th player selected in the 1984 NBA draft by Utah and would launch a 19-year NBA career that is certain to culminate with his election to the Hall of Fame.
He retired as the all-time leader in assists with 15,806 and steals with 3,265. In 1996 he was named one of the "50 Greatest Players in NBA History." He was a two-time All-NBA first-team selection (1994 and 1995), a six-time All-NBA second-team pick (1987-90, 1992 and 1996) and a three-time All-NBA third team selection (1991, 1997 and 1999). Stockton was a five-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection and a 10-time NBA All-Star selection. He was named Co-MVP of the 1993 All-Star Game in Salt Lake City with Jazz teammate Karl Malone.
Having been denied a chance to win an Olympic gold as a collegian, he was a member of the men's basketball "Dream Team" that won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the 1992 squad marking the first time players from the NBA participated in the Olympic Games.
Stockton played 1,504 regular-season games, 182 playoff games and 10 All-Star games. He holds the record for most seasons with the same franchise, all 19 years of his NBA career spent with Utah.
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