My last day in Vancouver consisted of the press release of a new court and the Raptors game against the Portland Trailblazers.
Saturday I didn’t have community events of my own, so I decided I would make my way to the PNE Grounds for the unveiling of The Nash Family Court. I also wanted to increase my chances of possibly meeting Canadian Legend Steve Nash, after all he is the one who put Canadian basketball on the map!
Upon arrival I could see that there were young boys and girls present for the clinic that would be taking place on the court after the press conference. I quickly found out that these were the younger girls of the Bruins Basketball Program, I had spoken with the older girls the day before.
The press conference was well done and they had meaningful guests and speakers to commemorate this event. The Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Roberston spoke about Steve Nash and how important giving back to the community is to him. Jenny Miller, of the Steve Nash Foundation was also present. John Nash, Steve Nash’s father spoke. He shared stories of Nash’s childhood and how his love of basketball grew in British Columbia. Isaiah Thomas gave a heart felt speech about how todays events were for the kids, and he even had the kids get involve in the press conference by having them introduce special guest speakers.
The court itself was thoughtfully designed to pay homage to Steve’s Hall of Fame NBA Career and his impact on Canadian basketball. The colors represent all the various teams he’s played for in the league, and the red and maple leafs represent his Canadian roots. Along the court sidelines are descriptions of his lifetime basketball achievements including: being 5x NBA assist leader, FIBA Americup MVP, 2x WCC Player of the Year, 8x NBA All Star and 2x NBA Most Valuable Player.
After the press conference, NBA Canada put on a skills clinic for 30 young girls and boys lead by Doug Plumb. The kids got after it and wasted no time leaving their mark on the court. It was fun to watch and I applaud NBA Canada and their partnership with Bell for making this happen. This is a court that will definitely be put to great use in the community.
Later that afternoon NBA Canada blessed me with great seats to watch the Raptors take on the Portland Trailblazers. It was great for me to see Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard suit up for the Raptors for the first time live. It was a fun game, and the Raptors won, making it the perfect end to an incredible three days in Vancouver for the NBA Canada series!
I have so much praise for NBA Canada and all the events they put on in collaboration with their partners. What I shared throughout my blogs was only a tiny portion of what they did in the community. From free basketball give aways, numerous basketball camps for the kids, panels, and so much more, it was great to see all the community involvement! If you want to see more you should follow the following pages on Instagram if you aren’t already: @nbacanada, @footlockercanada and @victory.
I also want to express my gratitude to NBA Canada for allowing me to take part in such an incredible weekend. Basketball has been a huge blessing in my life, but one of the parts I truly enjoy is when I get to engage and work with kids. The NBA Canada family saw this and allowed me to do just that. Also, they are an incredible group of people who are passionate about what they do. They work extremely hard, and are genuinely kind people take pride in and love what they do! Thank you for having me!
Most importantly I want to give a special thanks to Jonathan Chang, who is a wonderful person. If it wasn’t for meeting at an Under Armor event last fall, I wouldn’t have had all these amazing opportunities today. He is a talented man in his own right and deserves a lot of credit for the way he brings people and partnerships together. He makes things happen and gets things done!
Lastly, if you’re in Montreal October 6th and 7th don’t forget to check out NBA Crossover by clicking the link here, and then catch the Raptors take on the Brooklyn Nets October 10th at the Bell Centre.
Thanks for stopping by and God bless,
The Nash Family Court Pictures courtesy of NBA Canada/Victory.