Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Nash to accept honorary degree

Steve Nash to receive Honorary Degree from UVic

Steve Nash—two-time recipient of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award, six-time NBA All-Star and creator of the Steve Nash Foundation for underserved children—will accept an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria at a special convocation ceremony on Sept. 18 at 10:30 a.m. in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium.

You can watch this event live on the web at www.uvic.ca/visitors/event.

“I’m so honoured to be receiving this degree from the University of Victoria,” says Nash, who was born in South Africa and raised in Victoria. “From watching (former Vikes basketball star) Eli Pasquale play, to learning from coaching greats like Kathy and Ken Shields, to shagging soccer balls for my sister and her teammates, UVic has played a big role in who I am as an athlete. More than that though, growing up in a university town gave me access to a whole new realm of experience that enriched and broadened my view.”

A member of the Phoenix Suns, Nash is known for his exceptional playmaking, ball-handling and shooting skills. In a New York Times feature interview, the word he used to describe his on-court mindset was “unflappable.”

Nash is widely considered to be among the best to have ever played the game and ESPN named him the ninth best point guard of all time in a poll of basketball experts.

Off the court, Nash consistently demonstrates the finer qualities of a role model and community leader: integrity, character and humility.

He established the Steve Nash Foundation, a private charity dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life in BC, Arizona and Paraguay (the birthplace of his wife, Alejandra Nash).

Since 2005, the foundation’s BC Grants initiative has provided annual funding to youth-focused non-profit organizations across the province. On Sept. 19, the foundation’s “Showdown in Downtown” will bring together basketball and soccer stars for a fundraising soccer game in Vancouver.

In 2008, the Steve Nash Foundation received the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy from the US-based Sports Philanthropy Project and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Among his other honours, he earned the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s Athlete of the Year in 2005. In 2007, he received the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for outstanding service and dedication to the community. And he is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has been selected to the Order of British Columbia.

Honorary degrees are conferred by the University of Victoria Senate based on nominations received from members of the university committee. Recipients are selected for their exceptional records of distinction and achievement in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts, public service or other outstanding personal qualities.

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