Vivint Arena, home of the Utah Jazz and formerly known as the Delta Center, sits on the corner of John Stockton and Karl Malone Drives in Salt Lake City. It's where the pick and roll became a way of life for Jazz fans. This week, Stockton’s alma mater, Gonzaga, continues to chase its first Final Four as the No. 1 seed in the West.What better place for the Zags to play their first two games than at the home of the Jazz?
Stockton remains close to the program. His son, David, used to play for the men's team. Now his daughter, Laura, plays for the women. The old man can often be found in the weight room, where the Bulldogs like to pick his brain.
“I worked out with him, played against him,” Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss said. “He still can play. He’s still running the team, still the floor general that he was.
“(He gives) a lot of just little tips that he used back in the day that helped him against bigger guys or quicker guys. Really just talking to him about how he thought about the game, how he saw the game. And, obviously, you can’t learn from anybody better than that.”
Williams-Goss was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year and is one of five finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award.
Sophomore Josh Perkins said Stockton is a “huge reason” he decided to attend Gonzaga.
“To play for the same program he played in,” Perkins said, “and live in his shoes and come here and see what he built, it’s a small world. It’s crazy.”
Junior Silas Melson said it’s an honor to be playing in the building where Stockton built his career.
“When you see him in the weight room, he’ll give you all you want,” guard Jordan Mathews said. “He’s really down to Earth, cool guy. Having him around is really nice.”
The Bulldogs face eighth-seeded Northwestern on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. EDT.