Canada’s greatest basketball player of all-time has received our country’s highest civilian honour.
Steve Nash, who was awarded the Order of Canada back in 2007, finally received it this morning at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
“None of my friends got it when I was growing up, so I didn’t know much about it,” Nash told reporters, upon learning of the good news in December of 2007. “I’m just blown away and just extremely excited. It’s the highest honour in our country and it’s just incredible to be recognized in that way. That puts me in some incredible company.”
Here’s the citation read for Nash just before Governor General David Johnston presented him with his medal, as an officer of the Order of Canada:
“Steve Nash is one of Canada’s best known athletes and sports ambassadors. His outstanding play on the basketball court is matched only by his passion for helping others. Named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player two years in a row, as well as Canadian Athlete of the Year several times, he is also being recognized for his unstinting support of various charitable causes. He established the Steve Nash Foundation, to assist underserved children in Canada, the United States, and Paraguay. His exceptional commitment to the game of basketball and to the welfare of children has made him an inspirational leader and role model for youth.”
Nash played 18 years in the NBA, winning league MVP in 2005 and 2006. He won the Lou Marsh Award, given to Canada’s Top Athlete, in 2005. He ranks first all-time in free throw percentage and third all-time in assists.
Nash competed for Canada at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and is currently the General Manager of Canada’s national basketball team.
Some more information on the Order of Canada:
Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System, and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country. Since its creation, more than 6,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.