Tricia Binford lost one of her assistants to another job last week, less than a month before the start of a new season.
The potential for panic became a light bulb moment.
Binford “took a flier” and called former NBA legend John Stockton, who lived six hours away from Bozeman in Spokane, and asked him if he wanted a job on her staff.
His first thought was no.
His final answer was yes.
“It was somebody who would be instantly respected, and our kids would be excited,” said Binford, a Boise State basketball star from 1991-96 who was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2001. “I wanted to make sure that whatever we did it would be a smooth transition, and he made the most sense.”
Said Stockton, the former Utah Jazz point guard who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009: “The convincing factor, frankly, is Lindsay. It’s an opportunity for me to be around my daughter.”
Stockton’s daughter is a senior guard for the Big Sky program. He’s coached her and some of her Montana State teammates in the past, at the high school and AAU levels in Spokane.
“Coach Binford called and took a flier asking if I’d be interested. ... It will be a fun group to work with,” Stockton said. “I’m excited about the prospect of working with the kids. I’ve enjoyed watching the team over the past three years. I had a chance to be around them and develop relationships during their trip to the Bahamas this spring.