Nash to Filipino NBA hopefuls: Anything is possible with big dreams
Steve Nash didn’t walk on the red carpet on his way to having a colorful basketball career and becoming one of the best point guards in NBA history.
Not many international basketball stars can relate to Filipinos and their dreams to make it to the NBA. But in more reasons than one, Nash feels his path to success from an afterthought high school standout in Canada to a surefire Hall of Famer proves passion and dedication can get you far.
“It’s amazing to see how important the game is to the Philippines. What a fantastic realization to come here to feel how important basketball is and how passion there is for the game. For all those kids here who are aspiring to play in the NBA, I would just say that anything is possible,” said Nash, who now serves as player development consultant for the Golden State Warriors and a general manager of Canada’s men’s national basketball team, when asked what message can he impart to aspiring Filipino kids.
“I was a skinny, short kid from the West coast of Canada, who had nobody from Canada from my neighborhood had played in the NBA. It seemed like it was on the other side of the world and maybe that how it feels to kids here sometimes. Anything is possible with big dreams, imagination and hard work and if anyone can attest to that, it’s myself, and possibly from Steph Curry.”
Steph Curry was also overlooked before going on to win a couple of MVP awards and an NBA title in 2015 for the Warriors.
Nash recalled only getting one scholarship offer in college. He went on to make a name for himself in leading Santa Clara, not known for its basketball program, to surprising NCAA Tournament stints before being drafted by the Phoenix Suns as the 15th overall pick in 1996.
But it wasn’t until his fifth season in the NBA when he got his break and show what he’s capable of. Two MVPs, 17-plus thousand points and over 10,000 assists later, Nash remembers having only a few — himself included — who believed he can do it.
“I had one scholarship offer. No one would have ever thought I would finish my career in the position that I was in but I had a big belief and passion for the game and I was willing to outwork people,” said Nash, who is listed at 6-foot-3 but is barely 6-foot tall.
“And I think the same is true with Steph. For the majority of kids that are shorter like he and I are, rely on hard work and toughness and imagination and skill, I would just encourage them to fall in love with the game and practice everyday.”