Facts and figures

"The best pure
point guard
who ever
the game"

Mark Rypien
Former multisport Shadle Park High star who became NFL quarterback, Super Bowl MVP

Defend this: Before Mark Rypien was a standout college quarterback at Washington State and a Super Bowl MVP for the Washington Redskins, he was a standout basketball, football and baseball player at Shadle Park High School, where he played against Gonzaga Prep and John Stockton.

‘‘It seemed like I'd always get stuck guarding him,” Rypien recalled of his basketball matchups against Stockton. ‘‘And the one thing I remember was how quick he'd release the ball when he shot it. I figured I'd be doing a heck of job shadowing him from backcourt to forecourt and all the way to a position where he was going up for a shot.

‘‘It was like, `Don't worry, I'll be right there with him.' But by the time I jumped in the air, he had already released the ball, and it was over with. It was frustrating. I always thought I did a great job

against him, but then I'd look in the paper in the morning, and he'd have 24 or 26.”

Rypien on Stockton: ‘‘I was talking to Michael Jordan about John Stockton, and he said, `You love to play with him, but you absolutely hate to play against him.'

‘‘He said, `That little son of a bitch could set picks with his wiry, bony body that could literally wipe you out.' Which I think is a lot of respect, coming from the greatest player in the world.”

‘‘Looking at him in street clothes, you never him feared him. Not for a minute. But when he crossed the line and got on a basketball court, he made you immediate appreciate his competitive desire and love of the game.”


Utah Jazz guard John Stockton, right, looks to pass against pressure from Dallas Mavericks guard Steve Nash during an April game in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)

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