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

Three new buses on the way for Fraser-Cascade School District

A change to funding from the ministry will allow the district to purchase three replacement buses

Kent honours late CAO with tree planting

Tony Lewis passed away in 2007, seven months before his retirement from the position

Judge questions joint submission for Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted girl

Crown, defence ordered to find case law to back up one-year sentencing for Andrew Mullaly

School trip tragedy leaves Hope mourning the loss of one of their own

Long-time resident, Sandra Loring, passed away while chaperoning a European school trip

Fraser Health reminds parents to get their kids fully vaccinated against measles

Health authority will send letters home to parents with catch-up program information

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

COLUMN: Keep your camping coordinates a secret this season

‘There are simply too many people in the back country,’ says Progress reporter

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

VIDEO: Surrey stabbing leaves man with ‘potentially life altering injuries’

Police believe an altercation between two people led to the incident, in the 13700-block of 97A Ave.

VIDEO: Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

Most Read