Gonzaga point guard Laura Stockton, the fifth of Nada and John Stockton’s six children and the fourth college basketball player in the group, stands out among her siblings.
She’s blonde, and she’s demonstrative on the court.
“I don’t know where I get it from, exactly,” she said.
She means the emotion. The hair color is explainable, from her mother.
“I don’t know, I’m just an emotional player,” she said after Gonzaga won the West Coast Conference women’s basketball tournament last week in Las Vegas. “I love to get excited.”
So she’ll celebrate with a downward flexing gesture that resembles the character from “The Incredible Hulk.” Her family teases her about the “Hulk Smash” pose. In every other aspect of her game, though, she’s a Stockton.
Stockton already ranks No. 7 in career assists at Gonzaga as a junior. She wore her father’s No. 12 in high school at Gonzaga Prep before switching to the No. 11 that her brother David wore as a Gonzaga point guard and her sister Lindsay wore as a Montana State point guard.
Gonzaga, seeded No. 13 in the NCAA Tournament, will visit No. 4 Stanford in a first-round game Saturday. Stockton scored a team-high 14 points when the Zags, seeded No. 11, lost 75-62 to Oklahoma last year.
Jazz legend John Stockton’s influence is evident in the games of his children and in other players he has worked with as a Gonzaga Prep assistant, youth coach and one season as a Montana State assistant. Hannah Caudill, a former Gonzaga Prep player, recently completed her MSU career as the school’s all-time assists leader. Stockton had helped coach the core of a Bobcats team that won the 2017 Big Sky Conference tournament and played in the NCAA Tournament.
And now Laura’s Gonzaga team is in the event for the second year in a row (the school’s ninth appearance in 10 seasons). She’s the last basketball player in family that also sent Michael into a successful career at Westminster College. Samuel, a Gonzaga Prep junior, plays football.
David Stockton, who will join the Jazz by signing a 10-day contract, The Tribune reported Friday, appeared briefly in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings. David and Michael also have played in the G League and internationally.
Laura Stockton’s continuing success at Gonzaga comes in a year when Jae Crowder became the first son of a former Jazz player to join the team. Corey Crowder played in Utah in 1991-92, joining John Stockton on the Jazz’s first team that reached the Western Conference finals.
“The one thing I told [Jae] was if you listen to me, I’ll get you there,” Corey Crowder said during a recent visit to Vivint Smart Home Arena. “The minute you stop listening to me, you’re on your own. And he made it. … He’s earned everything he’s got.”
Kurt Kragthorpe’s updated rankings of Jazz players, based on the athletic exploits of their children
1. Dell Curry • Steph will make his father almost impossible for anyone to displace.
2. Karl Malone • KJ made himself into an NFL prospect at LSU.
3. Corey Crowder • Jae seems rejuvenated after joining the Jazz in February.
4. John Stockton • Two sons and two daughters have enjoyed solid college careers.
5. Brett Vroman • The late Jackson Vroman played 87 games in the NBA.
6. Thurl Bailey • Children have played college basketball and volleyball.
7. Ron Boone • Jaron remains high on Nebraska’s scoring list.
8. Adam Keefe • Twin daughters play volleyball for Stanford.
9. Pace Mannion • Nico, a sophomore, is Arizona’s Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year.
10. Andy Toolson • Conner is a starter for Utah Valley’s winningest team in the school’s Division I era.