Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 38th Parliament,
Volume 142, Issue 58

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
The Honourable Daniel Hays, Speaker

Mr. Steve Nash

Congratulations on Becoming Most Valuable Player of National Basketball Association

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to the member of the basketball team who became the first Canadian in the history of the National Basketball Association to win the NBA’s most valuable player award. Steve Nash led the NBA in assists this season, becoming the first league leader in assists to be named most valuable player since Magic Johnson won MVP in 1987.

Mr. Nash put his personal accomplishments aside and invited his Phoenix Sun teammates, with whom he achieved a league-leading record of 62 wins, to the podium when he accepted the award. Such a gesture can be described as nothing short of typically Canadian. Honourable senators know that this honour has been a long time in coming, not only because of Steve Nash’s outstanding play but also because the game of basketball was invented by a Canadian, James Naismith, from the friendly town of Almonte, Ontario. No doubt Mr. Naismith would be proud of his fellow countryman, as are we all.

Honourable senators, I am pleased to inform you that Mr. Nash and I have a few things in common. The first and most obvious is that we both call the beautiful province of British Columbia our home. Mr. Nash continues to support numerous community basketball programs in his hometown, hoping to inspire young Canadians to join him in achieving basketball’s greatest honour. Second, we are both African-Canadians, Mr. Nash coming from South Africa at the age of four and I coming from Uganda at a slightly older age.

Honourable senators, I hope you will join me in extending our congratulations to an outstanding Canadian and an outstanding British Columbian athlete and in wishing him the best of luck as he and his Phoenix teammates take on his former team, the Dallas Mavericks, in the NBA playoffs.