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

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

OUR VIEW: Let’s find Surrey pellet-gun punks

Those who do have information – if they are also possessed of a conscience – must contact police

Coldest Night an event for warm hearts

Sources’ White Rock event one of 130 walkathons across Canada on Feb. 23

VIDEO: A new Hive climbing/fitness facility coming to Surrey in 20,000-sq.-ft. space

‘Bouldering’ and other activities planned at site near Pattullo Bridge

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Most Read