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Victoria’s Steve Nash is set to be inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. He heads a group of 2016 athletes that also include Canadian Football League player Dave Cutler as well as PGA professional golfer Dave Barr and soccer players Carl Valentine and Geri Donnelly.
Nash was born in South Africa and grew up in Victoria playing various sports. He became quite adept at soccer, as his father was very involved in the local soccer community and continues to be today, while his brother Marty went on to play professional soccer.
Nash is one of the all-time great NBA point guards. He was known as a very creative playmaker with seeing-eye passing skills that were unmatched. Nash had an 18 year career in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. He won back-to-back NBA MVP honours and led the league in assists five times during his career. Nash is the most accurate free throw shooter in the history of the game at 90.4%.
When Nash retired at the end of the 2015 season, he wrote, “The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much — visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes.
The obsession became my friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my ass by her. In some ways, having this friend — this ever-present pursuit — has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable.”
There are also inductees in the builder and coach category, which includes BC Lions general manager and head coach Wally Buono, Allison McNeill who is a former Canadian women’s basketball team head coach as well as Diane Clement, co-founder of The Vancouver Sun Run, Richmond Kayaks Track and Field Club and is the former president of Athletics Canada.
Arthur Griffiths helped finance the building of Rogers Arena. He and his family were instrumental in bringing the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies into the league. Griffiths will be honoured as the W.A.C. Bennett award winner.
The 1994-1995 Kamloops Blazers Hockey Team has been selected for induction in the team category. Team members include: Jeff Ainsworth, Jeff Antonovich, Terry Bangen, Nolan Baumgartner, Rod Branch, Bob Brown, Ashley Buckberger, Ed Dempsey, Greg Deverson, Shane Doan, Hnat Domenichelli, Greg Hart, Don Hay, Brian Henderson, Jason Holland, Ryan Huska, Jarome Iginla, Jeff Jubenville, Aaron Keller, Donnie Kinney, Brad Lukowich, Bob Maudie, Keith McCambridge, Kevin McDonald, Tyson Nash, Cam McCormick, Shawn McNeil, Jeff Oldenborger, Randy Petruk, Scott Sherwood, Rob Skrlac, Andrei Sryubko, Jason Strudwick, Darcy Tucker, Ivan Vologianinov and Bob Westerby.
The 2016 Inductees, the Hall’s 50th Induction Class, will be formally inducted to the BC Sports Hall of Fame at the Banquet of Champions at the Vancouver Convention Centre on June 9th, 2016.