Northwest Athlete Profile: Steve Nash

NBA Hoops: Steve Nash

Is there a more loved Northwestern basketball player than Steve Nash?

At least north of the border, there has never been a better basketball player, period. The Canadian is a two-time NBA MVP and making a late bid for the Hall of Fame.

Technically, Nash wasn’t born in the Pacific Northwest. In February of 1974, he was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but his family moved to Canada when he was 18 months old. After first settling in Saskatchewan, the Nash clan ended up in Victoria, B.C.

Nash was a soccer and hockey player at first and didn’t start playing basketball until he was 12. He did, however, prophesize at the time that he’d become an NBA star.

Northwest Athlete Profile: Steve Nash

Nash was a dominant high-school player, going to Mount Douglas Secondary and St. Michaels University School. Along the way he won a B.C.Triple-A provincial title.

Despite the success, the Canadian wasn’t recruited by any American university.

Eventually, Santa Clara awarded him a scholarship. Coach Dick Davey saw the point guard’s outstanding potential but also called him “the worst defensive player” he’d ever seen.

Nash blossomed with Santa Clara, leading the school to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a memorable upset in 1993 as a No. 15 seed over No. 2 Arizona, and was twice named the West Coast Conference’s player of the Year.

Steve Nash went 15th overall to the Phoenix Suns in the 1996 NBA draft.

Many fans in attendance booed the pick, not knowing much about Nash.

He didn’t play much in his first few seasons, filling an understudy role behind Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson and Sam Cassell. However, after he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998, Nash’s career exploded.

The true breakout came in 2000-01 when he became an All-Star, leading the Dallas Mavericks to prominence alongside Dirk Nowitzki.

After some productive seasons with the Mavericks, Nash signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Suns. With Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire as his passing targets, Nash went from star to superstar.

He won back-to-back NBA MVP awards in 2005 and 2006, leading one of the best offenses in NBA history under run-and-gun coach Mike D’Antoni.

Nash remains a Phoenix Sun today and his resume is fantastic. In addition to the two MVPs, Nash is a seven-time All-Star; he’s first all-time in NBA free-throw percentage; he’s ninth in assists per game and a five-time assist champion; and he’s eighth all-time in three-point percentage.

Did you know Stevie also has a honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria, and is the most ridiculous man in the world?

Check out his stuff on YouTube.

All Nash needs to complete the perfect career is that elusive NBA Championship ring, if that doesn’t happen though we guarantee you next stop, the NBA Hall-of-Fame.

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About Matt Larkin
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