Prospect Stockton Brings Memories, Passing to Phoenix

Ryan Wolf/
by Matt Petersen

Most pre-draft workouts are about getting to know the players better, especially in one-on-one settings.

One prospect from Wednesday’s workout, however, needed no such introductions with Jeff Hornacek. David Stockton, son of former Utah Jazz teammate and Hall-of-Famer John Stockton, has plenty of history with the Suns head coach.

“My three kids’ age correlates with three of John’s kids,” Hornacek said. “When the games were going on, I know Tyler and David would be in the wives’ room playing basketball. I don’t know if they even watched many of the games. It seemed like the older kids sat there and watched them, but they were off playing.”

The familiarity between families extended off the court as well, where Hornacek once took advantage of a slight mishap on the elder Stockton’s part.

“John, after the games, he liked to leave the arena quickly to avoid [the media],” Hornacek said. “He had all his kids behind him and David was walking with Tyler. We were walking out and they were getting in the car backing up and we were walking behind and I’m like, ‘I think they’re going to forget David.’

“I said, ‘Hurry up, David! Come on with us!’ we jumped up in our car and I caught them up the ramp. I’m honking and I pull up next to them. John’s going ‘What?’ I said ‘Did you forget somebody?’ I tapped David. He was in my lap and David popped up and John said, ‘Oh man!’”

There was a small degree of reminiscing after the workout, but Hornacek and the Suns’ staff are wholly focused on David the basketball player as the draft approaches. The former Gonzaga standout faces his own set of questions he must answer along the way, including height (5-11) and weight (160 pounds).

Like his father, however, he’s hoping his actual play trumps the numbers listed next to his head shot. From the sound of the Suns’ post-workout comments, that may be the case before all is said and done. The senior guard was a steadying force for the Bulldogs last season, which included a game-winning layup in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals and a SportsCenter highlight block against BYU later in the tournament.

It’s his skill set as a point guard, however, that is leaving the biggest impression.

“His passing ability really stood out today,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “You can tell he’s grown up around the game. He has a great feel for the game. Obviously he’s a little bit limited physically. He’s small and light, but I think he makes up for that with intelligence and smarts and toughness and passing ability. He played well today.”

“David was a guy you could see back in fourth grade that he had a good feel for the game,” Hornacek added. “He knows how to play and makes great passes. He showed that today. Obviously size will be tough for him, but he knows how to play.”

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