FTW- Did his parents know that John Stockton and Karl Malone played in Utah once upon a time?
I’d really love to fool you on this one, but yes, they do. And the story behind how they chose the name is amazing. From the Salt Lake Tribune in 2015:
Label him a child of the Dream Team, because an exhibition contest during the U.S. Olympic basketball team’s preparation for the 1996 Games became his christening moment — more than two years before his birth to Rylan and Kelly Shorts.
Stockton’s parents attended that game vs. China in Phoenix, where they lived, wearing USA jerseys. They were walking down the street when a van stopped and the driver beckoned them. As they approached the vehicle, out stepped John Stockton, Karl Malone and Jerry Sloan, who chatted with them and signed autographs.
That explains how their first-born son would have immortalized names. The episode “kind of left us speechless,” said Kelly Shorts, who understood her future husband’s loyalty to the Jazz. “That kind of sold me.”
I'll throw this shocking disclaimer out there - I don't know a goddamn thing about the state of high school hoops in Utah. I would venture to guess that Salt Lake City isn't churning out 1-and-dones by the dozen because this is the first I've heard of this kid and the season typically starts in October, but thank god that Stockton Shorts is dominating it none-the-less. I love the back story, but it would all be for naught if the fantastic double entendre that is the namesake of one of the greatest one-two punches in NBA history was regulated to garbage time. Can you imagine if Stockton Shorts was coming off the bench because he was a haphazard turnover machine? He'd be a goddamn punchline to every Chad and Connor in Utah's private school system. Instead he's going to get way more notoriety than any other prospect that originated in 'The Beehive State', and it's all because his parents were moved to eventual conception by a random rendezvous with the preeminent pick-and-rollers of their time. It's not often you can name your kid something obnoxious and have it work out in their favor. Not only did Ryan and Kelly Shorts manage to do it, but they also gave their child a perfectly caucasian first name that exemplifies his hometown so perfectly that I'll give them a pass for not making him wear honorary nut-huggers.