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Thread: John Wooden and John Stockton

  1. #1

    Default John Wooden and John Stockton

    With all the celebrating here in SoCal of John Wooden's 99th Birthday one subject that Bill Walton brought up was John Wooden's Love of John Stockton. I apologize if this has be brought up before but apparently he has a collection of pictures of John Stockton in his house and has said on several occassions that he is his favorite basketball player.

    I know that most of the posts these days will be about the upcoming season and the future and I, like most of you believe it is very bright. I just hope that this team will make the kind of impression that Stockton obviously made on Wooden.

    "Ability may take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default I've heard it before

    the truth is just about all of the best of the best recognize Stockton's character and performance on the floor with a roundball as second to none. That includes Bob Cousy, Magic, Bill Russell, Wooden and many others.

    All of them considered to be the best in their time -- perhaps the best ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    University Place, WA (aka Chambers Bay)

    Default John Wooden and Mark Few

    Thanks for posting this -- I wasn't aware of John Wooden's tremendous respect for Stockton (although it makes sense).

    One thing I am aware of -- first hand -- is Wooden's respect for Mark Few. I recall posting it on the old board at the time, but in Nov. 04 I had a chance to spend a few moments with Coach Wooden and his family. We were waiting for the elevator in the hotel the night before the Illinois/Gonzaga game at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis. Wooden's grandson commented on my Gonzaga hat and asked if I'd come out from Washington -- and hearing that, Wooden started talking about Few -- "what a nice young man" and "I enjoy watching his teams". We arrived at the Wooden's floor first, and it was a privilege to have Coach Wooden shake my hand while saying good-bye.

    Those sentiments were repeated publically last year, when Mark and Marcy Few won the Wooden Achievement Award. Mark was the first active coach to win the award (which includes all coaches, not just basketball).

    "I'm proud of this award because it brings out the importance of the support that comes from your wife," said legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. "I've watched Mark's Gonzaga teams for some time and they are very sound fundamentally - I've been very impressed with him. And what I've heard of him as a person is pleasing too," Wooden said. "Bringing his players along as good citizens is extremely important. It should be the responsibility of every school. They are teaching about life. To have Mark and Marcy receive this award is very pleasing and very appropriate."

    As a footnote, the trip to Indianapolis in '04 was not the Zags' finest moment, losing to Final Four bound Illinois by 17 (after being down 31 at the half). However, the Zags returned to the Kennel and blew out a highly ranked Washington team a few days later.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Wooden loves the fundamentals. John's game was suffused with fundamental passing, dribbing, steals and assists with ball control from a deadly competitor. Above all though John made his teamates better. Wooden coached through the "no dunk" period when it was banned because a certain Lew Alcindor he had at UCLA.

    An old fashioned Indiana guy is Wooden. Stockton was a throwback type of player even in his prime. I always thought this was the best thing about JS. He did all those basic things so well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Chesterfield, MO.


    Wooden has been quoted as saying that John is the only player he would pay to see play in the Modern NBA.

    "His unflashy, fundamentally sound style of play earned him the respect of John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, who once said that John Stockton was the only NBA player he would pay money to see."
    Gonzaga Basketball
    Exhibiting Character Since 1907

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