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Steve Nash          

Professional basketball player; started the Steve Nash Foundation with its aim to instill health in kids.

Nash was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. His family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, when he was 18 months old, before settling in Victoria, British Columbia. Although Nash played soccer and ice hockey, often with his younger brother, Martin, he did not start playing basketball until he was 12 or 13. In eighth grade, however, he told his mother that one day he would play in the NBA and would become a star.

At St. Michaels University School, he starred in basketball, soccer, and rugby union. While playing basketball during his senior season, Nash averaged 21.3 points, 11.2 assists, and 9.1 rebounds per game. In the 1991-92 season, he led his team in his final year to the British Columbia AAA provincial championship title, and was named the province's Player of the Year.

Although Nash's high school coach, Ian Hyde-Lay, sent letters of inquiry and highlight reels on Nash's behalf to over 30 American universities, Nash was not recruited by any university until Santa Clara coach Dick Davey requested video footage of the young guard.

Nash was awarded a scholarship by Santa Clara for the 1992-93 season. At that time, it had been five years since the Broncos appeared in the NCAA tournament. That changed when Nash led the Broncos to a WCC Tournament title and an upset win over the No. 2 seeded Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. In that game, Nash scored six straight free throws in the last 30 seconds of the contest. Although Santa Clara was defeated by Temple in the next round, the 1992-93 campaign was considered a successful one. However, the Broncos failed to sustain the momentum the following season, and only managed a 5-7 record in the conference. The team rebounded in the 1994-95 season, with Nash being named Conference Player of the Year and the Broncos topping the WCC. Featuring the league leader for scoring and assists in Nash, the Broncos returned to the NCAA tournament, but they were defeated by Mississippi State. After the season, Nash contemplated turning professional, and decided against it when he learned that he would probably not be considered as a first-round pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.

In the 1995-96 season, Nash began attracting the attention of the national media and professional scouts. After graduating with a degree in sociology, Nash was selected 15th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft. During his first two seasons in the NBA, Nash played a supporting role behind NBA star point guards Kevin Johnson, Sam Cassell, and later, Jason Kidd. Both Johnson and Cassell had NBA Finals experience, while Kidd was the second overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft and already an All-Star when he arrived at Phoenix. Following the 1998 NBA Draft, Nash was traded from the Suns to the Mavericks.

In the 2000-01 season, Nash averaged 15.6 points and 7.3 assists per game in a breakout season. With Nash directing the team's offense, Nowitzki and Finley playing at their best, and the acquisition of All-Star Juwan Howard complementing the high-scoring trio, the Mavericks earned a playoff berth for the first time in more than a decade. During that season, Nash posted career-highs of 17.9 points and 7.7 assists per game and earned a spot in the NBA All-Star Game and on the All-NBA Third Team.

Nash closely replicated his previous season's performance in the 2002-03 season, averaging 17.7 points and 7.3 assists per game, again earning All-Star and All-NBA Third Team honors. Nowitzki and Nash led the Mavericks from a 14-game winning streak to open the season all the way to the Western Conference Finals.

After the 2003-04 season, Nash became a free agent, and Nash signed for the Suns for the 2004-05 season. The Canadian would go on to win two League MVP awards with Phoenix.

Nash joined a Suns team which had emerging young players in Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson and Amar'e Stoudemire. Nash produced an NBA-best 62-20 record and a points-per-game average of 110.4, the highest in a decade. The catalyst of this turnaround, Nash averaged 11.5 assists per game while making 50.2 percent of his field goals and 43.1 percent of his three-pointers in the regular season. He edged out Shaquille O'Neal to win the 2004-05 NBA MVP award, becoming the first Canadian to earn the honor, as well as the third point guard ever to be named MVP, along with Magic Johnson and Bob Cousy.

In the 2005 season, Nash directed the same high-tempo offense, and the team compiled a respectable 5428 record and won the division title. The Suns were again the highest-scoring team in the league with seven players averaging double figures in points per game, and Nash was voted for the first time to start for the 2006 Western All-Star team. Nash was also named the league MVP for the second year in a row.

In the 2006-07 season, Nash had another stellar campaign, averaging 18.6 points and a career-high 11.6 assists per game while becoming the first person since Magic Johnson in 1990-91 to average 18 points and 11 assists per game during the regular season. Nash received the most votes for first-team All-NBA and was joined by teammate Stoudemire; the two were the first teammates to make the first team since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal in 200304. He narrowly missed being MVP a third consecutive time, coming in second with 44 first place votes to 83 for Dirk Nowitzki.

Nash played in 81 regular-season games during the 2007-08 season. On January 31, 2008, he collected his All-Star stripes for the sixth time in his career. Nash was later named to the All-NBA Second Team for the 2007-08 season.

Nash and the Suns opened the 2009-10 season with a series of strong performances, going 8-1 in their first nine games, with Nash producing two 20-assists games. In January 2010, Nash was named as the starting point guard for the West for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. With him operating at the point, the Suns were the highest-scoring team in the league for the fifth season in a row, and were seeded third in the conference for the playoffs with 54 wins.

In February 2012, Nash was named to his eighth All-Star Game. At the time, he was leading the NBA in assists per game. On April 21, 2012, Nash passed Oscar Robertson for career assists versus the Denver Nuggets. Despite his stellar play the Suns missed the playoffs for the second consecutive time. He finished the season averaging 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game on 53.2 percent shooting from the field (tying his career high).

In July 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix. Nash switched his jersey number, as his customary No. 13 was retired by Los Angeles in honor of Wilt Chamberlain. Nash, an avid soccer fan, chose No. 10 to pay homage to Glenn Hoddle, Zinedine Zidane and other soccer playmakers who wore the number.

In the second game of the 2012-13 season, Nash suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left leg after a collision with Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. On December 22, Nash returned against the Golden State Warriors, helping the Lakers win their first overtime game of the season, 118-115, scoring 12 points with 9 assists in 41 minutes of play. The Lakers won three of the first four games after Nash returned. In January 2013, Nash assisted on an Antawn Jamison jumper to became the fifth player in NBA history to reach 10,000 career assists.

Off the court, Nash started the Steve Nash Foundation, dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life. Also a proponent of being environmentally friendly, Steve's leadership is credited with the installation of the NBA's first solar power (at the Suns' US Airways Center in Phoenix), he captained "Team PowerSmart" in British Columbia, and served as APS spokesperson for renewable energy programs and conservation efforts in Arizona. Steve drives a hybrid or skateboards as his preferred mode of transportation.


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