Steve Nash and Football for Good

If your two favorite sports are soccer and basketball, you probably already know that one of the world's best hoopsters - Steve Nash - is a visionary organizer of projects that help people. And that he often centers his work around his other favorite sport, soccer.

The two-time NBA MVP and orchestrator of one of the league's most compelling fastbreak offenses is known to hole up in NYC throughout the offseason, playing soccer daily.  He's also helped spearhead Vancouver's successful bid for an MLS franchise.

And he's championed Football for Good, whose goal is to establish community-centered soccer academies in Africa while promoting human rights in ravaged areas.

In short, Nash squeezes every minute out of his offseason and capitalizes on soccer as a vehicle that can propel his humanitarian efforts across cultures.

This week brings us the event that is fast becoming the hallmark event on Nash's soccer + basketball + culture + human rights + children's charities calendar.

Check it out: The Showdown in Chinatown, at Roosevelt Park in the Big Apple. Brought to you by the Steve Nash Foundation and Football for Good, the Showdown is an 8-on-8 match pitting world-class athletes against each other on the pitch in an urban setting, benefitting children's programs on three continents. (There's a west coast Showdown in Vancouver in September.)

This is what Adam Spangler at had to say about last year's event, in which hoops stud Baron Davis "had the best time." Spangler posts great photos and a video of the 2008 Showdown.

This is Nash's Facebook page, where he recently announced some of the attendees of this week's Showdown- including Euro football studs Henry, Zanetti, Cordoba, and NBA'ers Tony Parker, Grant Hill and Chris Bosh.

This is Nash's Twitter page.

Look for this event to become wildly popular this year and in the coming years. And look for Nash to continue to emerge as an unspoken ambassador of both sports'  humanitarian efforts.


GAME DAY UPDATE:  While NYC friends and Adam Spangler at report that it's dangerously soggy in NYC, Vanity Fair's Julian Sancton has a fantastic Q&A with Nash. Two favorite quotes:


I feel this game favors the soccer players. Why not play a charity game in a neutral sport? Since you’re Canadian, I suggest hockey.

The reason being is that I am absolutely in love with the game of soccer and it’s totally selfish that I get to bring these professional soccer players from Europe and play with them. So I love it, but the truth of it is that it’s also kind of the Make-a-wish foundation for myself once a summer.


What do you think can be done to raise soccer’s profile in the U.S.?

Uh, well, I think we’re on our way. I think what’s happening here is that we have millions of kids playing soccer, to the tune of 21 million, which is the biggest participation sport. We have millions of soccer fans because of all the diversity and multiculturalism that the United States possesses. I think the thing is that we’re just slowly but surely converting those fans into U.S. soccer fans to follow the national team and the M.L.S. I think what we see right now is that of these millions and millions of people that have moved to the United States from different countries, they all love soccer, but they’re probably going to seek out soccer at the highest level, be it in their home country, the English Premier League or the Champions League. But as the M.L.S. continues to develop slowly, and have more of an influx of European players, I think we’re going to convert fans one by one. And I also think that as we continue to develop the youth in this country, and we develop better players, we’ll be converting not only players but fans as well on the other end.



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