In this March 25, 2007, file photo, Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash, right, drives around Sacramento Kings defender Ron Artest during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif. Nash, Jason Kidd and Grant Hill are among the 13-member class that will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September, the Hall of Fame announced Saturday, March 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater, File)

Hall of famer Steve Nash changed game of basketball: high school coach

Ian Hyde-Lay said that he feels lucky to have played a part in the point guard’s journey

When Steve Nash is inducted into basketball’s Naismith Hall of Fame on Friday, his high school coach will be watching from Victoria, B.C., and beaming with pride.

Ian Hyde-Lay said that he feels lucky to have played a part in the point guard’s journey.

“I’m very proud,” he said Thursday from St. Michaels University School in Victoria, the same school where he coached Nash in the ’90s. “Obviously his basketball skills and leadership skills morphed into an incredible career.”

Nash will be honoured in Springfield, Mass., on Friday in recognition of his decades-long basketball career, both in the NBA and with Canada’s men’s team.

The 44-year-old has left an indelible mark on the game, Hyde-Lay said.

“He was a driving force in basketball around the world and the way it’s played,” he said.

The eight-time NBA all-star is also an easy person to like on and off the court, the coach added.

“He’s gregarious, he’s humble,” Hyde-Lay said. “”I just think he’s a quality person, over and above the basketball.”

After playing for Hyde-Lay in high school, Nash suited up for Santa Clara University where he named West Coast Conference Player of the Year in both ‘95 and ‘96.

He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 1996 and went on to play 1,217 regular-season games and 120 playoff matches with the Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.

Nash averaged 14.3 points, 8.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in his regular-season career.

He was named league MVP twice, and by the time he retired in 2015, Nash had put up 10,335 assists, ranking third all-time in the NBA.

“Nobody would have predicted that,” Hyde-Lay said. “But what was obvious off the bat was that he was ahead of his time.”

Even as a teenager, Nash was exceptionally skilled and willing to put in tremendous amounts of work in order to move on from one level to the next, his former coach said.

Hyde-Lay remembers watching the budding star play in Grade 9.

“(Nash) just made a couple of plays with vision and skill that just took your breath away,” he said. “I just sat back and thought ‘Wow.’ I couldn’t believe a 14-year-old boy could do that.”

At six foot three, Nash was known during his time in the NBA for his athleticism and stunning passes.

Hyde-Lay said he pushed the pace of the game through passing and three-point shots, transforming basketball from a slow, physical slog into a rapid, entertaining spectacle.

“Now basically every team plays some version of that game,” Hyde-Lay said.

Nash is also known as the face of Canadian men’s basketball, a team he played on for more than 10 years. He lead the squad to the quarterfinals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and currently serves as general manager of the senior men’s national team.

The former CEO of Canada Basketball said Nash’s impact may never be fully known.

“His level of competitiveness drove Team Canada to win some great games and yet his biggest contribution may be how he has inspired the following generations to pick up a basketball,” Michele O’Keefe said in a statement when Nash’s induction to the hall of fame was announced.

This year’s other inductees include former NBA point guard and head coach Jason Kidd, and Grant Hill, who played forward for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers.

Nash joins fellow Canadians Dr. James Naismith (inventor, 1959), Ernest C. Quigley (official, 1961), Peter F. (Pete) Newell (coach, 1979) and Robert J. (Bobby) Houbregs (player, 1987) as Hall inductees.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Virtual reality comes to Aldergrove

The library hosted a “Virtual Reality Day” Thursday as a part of a strategy to promote tech-literacy.

Portable heaters caused spike in Chilliwack fire calls

Check on heaters to make sure they’re not too close to combustibles, Chilliwack Fire officials say

Measles case confirmed within Fraser Health region

One case within Fraser Health is related to the outbreak in three Vancouver schools.

First phase of 208th widening in Langley Township budget

Work could star this year, if the council approves the first project.

Twilight Drive-In announces open season for moviegoers next Friday

Opening weekend will showcase a double feature with Aquaman at 7:15 p.m. and Glass at 9:50 p.m.

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Skier accidental death at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death has not been released

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

5 to start your day

Australian woman dies in avalanche at Whistler, two boys OK after falling through Coquitlam lake and more

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Most Read