No Bulldog has worn No. 12 since 1984

Updated: February 17, 2004, 2:05 PM ET
Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. -- No Gonzaga basketball player has worn John Stockton's No. 12 since he graduated in 1984, but the Bulldogs are only now getting around to retiring the number.

The future Hall of Famer's number will be retired at halftime Wednesday evening when the No. 6 Bulldogs play Portland, athletic director Mike Roth said this week.

"This is something we've wanted to do for many years," Roth said. "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," Roth said.

Retired after last season, Stockton is back in his home town and can often be spotted in the stands at Gonzaga games.

Stockton's last game as a Bulldog was on March 12, 1984.

When Dan Dickau, now with the Portland Trail Blazers, played at Gonzaga, he wore No. 21 -- an inverted 12 -- because the school would not let him wear Stockton's number.

Stockton, a product of Spokane's Gonzaga Prep, played for the Bulldogs from the 1980-81 season through the 1983-84 season. He was the first player in GU history to score 1,000 points and hand out 500 assists.

The West Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 1984, he left Gonzaga as the all-time leader in assists with 554 and steals with 262. He was third in career field goal percentage at 55.9 percent and sixth in scoring with 1,340 points.

His assists record has since been eclipsed by Matt Santangelo and Blake Stepp, but he still holds the steals record.

He also set single-season marks for assists with 201 and steals with 109, both records coming his senior season.

He set single-game records with nine steals and tied the single-game assists record with 13.

As a senior, he led the conference in scoring with 20.9 points per game.

He was the final player cut from the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team.

Stockton was the 16th player selected in the 1984 NBA draft, and spent a 19-year NBA career with the Utah Jazz that will likely lead to his election to the Hall of Fame.

He retired as the NBA's 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."

Stockton was a 10-time NBA All-Star and a member of the "Dream Team" that won gold medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Stockton played 1,504 regular-season games, 182 playoff games and holds the record for most seasons with the same franchise.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press