Basketball: Stockton ready to assist Breakers

By Niall Anderson

The Breakers' new American point guard David Stockton, flanked by NZ NBL standouts Jordan Ngatai and Finn Delany. Photo / Photosport
The Breakers' new American point guard David Stockton, flanked by NZ NBL standouts Jordan Ngatai and Finn Delany. Photo / Photosport

His family pedigree is unquestionable, but the New Zealand Breakers will be more interested in David Stockton's on-court production as the franchise's latest recruit readies himself for the next step in his career.

The son of NBA all-time assists leader John Stockton, the newly signed point guard has landed in New Zealand with a significant role to play in the Breakers' quest for another playoff appearance.

He joins a side with holes to fill, after the Breakers found themselves lacking in key areas in their 86-79 loss to the Cairns Taipans on Friday night.

Now at 4-4 on the ladder, the Breakers suffered several defensive breakdowns and struggled to penetrate and attack the rim against Cairns, shooting only six free throws.

The arrival of Stockton is sure to aid the Breakers' cause, as the 25-year-old continues his increasingly worldwide professional basketball journey.

A four year senior at Gonzaga, Stockton's uninspiring collegiate numbers led to a stint in the NBA Development League, where he shone with the fast-paced Reno Bighorns. With Reno averaging 133 points per game, Stockton racked up record-breaking statistics, earning a three-game NBA call-up in 2015 with the Sacramento Kings.

No more NBA opportunities came his way however, instead signing a three-year deal with Croatian side Cedevita Zagreb. Just 12 games into the contract, they parted ways, leaving the Breakers with an opportunity to pounce on a player they had scouted in the past.

Stockton's game profiles a lot like his father; likely to be one of the competition's assist leaders while also contributing on the defensive end. He says his lineage is perfect for his role on his team.

"For a guy who is my height and plays the point guard position, even if he wasn't my dad I would try to model my game after him.

"I can call someone at any time of the day and have the best insight - possibly on Earth - so I accept anything he has to say."

Coach Paul Henare voiced the need for a player with a similar skillset to the injured Ben Woodside, and Stockton has already been receiving plenty of insight from the man he is replacing.

"Talking to Ben, he's been really helpful in explaining what guys do. He has a great mind for the game so just being around him, being around the team and getting a feel for chemistry and seeing where I can fit in.

"It's my job to make sure everything runs smoothly - I'm anxious to get started."

That start won't come until Friday against the Illawarra Hawks at home, with Stockton staying in New Zealand while the Breakers battle the Wildcats in Perth tomorrow night.

- NZ Herald

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