Scott, Stockton Share Big Names, Tournament Dreams
By Brandon Castel
PITTSBURGH — Charlie Scott and John Stockton were taken 14 years apart in the NBA Draft, but Saturday their sons will meet on the basketball court in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Stockton’s eldest son, Houston, was a defensive back for the University of Montana, and his second son, Michael, played basketball at Salt Lake City's Westminster College.
But his third son, David, has truly followed in the footsteps of his legendary father as a pass-first point guard at Gonzaga University in John’s hometown of Spokane, Wash.
“I think he’s the best point guard ever,” David Stockton said of his father, a 10-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist.
“Some people other think so too, so if I get compared to someone like that, it obviously feels good.”
A 5-11 sophomore, Stockton is the backup to Gonzaga’s starting point guard, freshman Kevin Pangos. He is averaging only 3.8 points and 2.3 assists off the bench for coach Mark Few this season, but every time he takes a dribble or makes a pass, he is likely being compared to his famous father, who won the West Coast Conference Player of the Year award in 1984.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“I know he probably hears all the time how great his dad was, just like I do,” OSU point guard Shannon Schott said.
“At this time in his life, he’s probably trying not to think about that and just play his game.”
Scott’s father isn’t quite as famous as Stockton, who commandingly holds the NBA record for career assists and steals even to this day. Charlie Scott was a three-time NBA all-star with the Phoenix Suns in the 1970’s, and he helped the Boston Celtics win the NBA Championship in 1976.
“I’ve seen some clips of him playing. He was a different type of player than I am,” said Shannon, a freshman at Ohio State.
“He was more of a shooting guard and I’m more of a facilitator, but I try to take some stuff he did and put it in my game.”
Charlie Scott was a natural born scorer who averaged 27.1 points per game as a rookie in the ABA. The next season, he set the ABA record for scoring, averaging 34.6 points per game for the Virginia Squires before he signed with the Suns.
He may be more well known for helping Dean Smith reach a pair of Final Four’s in the late 1960’s while starring at North Carolina. Shannon is hoping to have a similar run with the Buckeyes as the backup point guard to Aaron Craft, and said his father will often turn on clips of his own NCAA Tournament games from back in the day.
“All the time,” Shannon said while shaking his head laughing.
“Sometimes when I have an off game, he tries to talk about what he did and how he never had an off game. I know he did, but he’s just trying to get the best out of me.”
Stockton is more of the silent figure, watching David’s every move from the stands. He spends time with the Bulldogs in the off-season and has developed a great relationship with a number of players on the team, including senior center Robert Sacre.
Sacre calls him “Big J” and “Chuck Norris,” but David is used to people looking up to his father, and he has come to find a peace with those who want to make the natural comparison.
“I grew up watching him and trying to emulate him,” David said.
“If people want to say I play like him, that’s fine by me. It’s an honor to be compared to somebody like that, but for the most part I don’t worry about it too much. It’s just my dad.”
Stockton and Scott probably won’t see a lot of each other on the court Saturday when Ohio State and Gonzaga meet at and the Consol Energy Center in downtown Pittsburgh.
Scott is averaging just over 10 minutes per game for the Buckeyes this season and Stockton is at 16.8 for the Bulldogs, although he did drop a career-high 19 points on Michigan State back in December.
“I’m sure his son is pretty tired of being called John Stockton’s son,” Craft said.
“He’s going to come out and try to make a name for himself within their system.”
The opportunity to play in front of a true NBA legend is not lost on Craft, however.
“It’s awesome. I wish he would be on our side, but its one of those cool moments that a lot of people don’t get to have in their life,” OSU’s sophomore point guard said.
“He’s one of those guys you look up to growing up. You hear stories from your dad and he’s a guy who crosses generations and is always going to be a legend.”
Craft’s game is one that actually resembles that of Stockton, who set the NBA record for steals during his career with the Utah Jazz. He also played in 1,504 of 1,526 possible games during his 19-season career.
“He never backed down,” David said of his father, who will certainly be on hand Saturday for his son’s big game against the Buckeyes.
“He was always in the muck of things, setting screens on guys like Shaq and David Robinson. He wasn’t afraid of anything and it really rubbed off on me. I want to be like that.”
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