BY JACK KEATING
Basketball superstar Steve Nash returned to his B.C. soccer roots Thursday, playing a scrimmage game with the Vancouver Whitecaps' farm team at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park.
Thirty-five-year-old Nash was an all-star youth and high-school soccer star at Mount Douglas in Victoria before turning to the hardwood, en route to becoming one of the world's most famous basketball players and winning two NBA MVP awards with the Phoenix Suns.
His younger brother Martin Nash, now captain of the Whitecaps, remarked recently that Steve is the better soccer player.
Steve, who is a part-owner of the Whitecaps, disagrees. "That's not accurate," he said, blushing. "Maybe when I was 13 I was better. Nowadays, he's come a long way -- and my game has gotten pretty ratty."
Steve Nash will be joined by Baron Davis (Los Angeles Clippers), Hasheem Thabeet (Memphis Grizzlies) and Youri Djorkaeff (former French World Cup soccer star) in the Steve Nash Foundation's Showdown in Downtown, an eight-a-side soccer game against the Whitecaps' farm team at David Lam Park on Saturday at 3 p.m.
"It's just going to be a lot of fun," said Nash. "It's for a great cause. It's for my foundation and B.C. grants program."
The Steve Nash Foundation gives about $100,000 a year in B.C. grants.
Nash will also receive an honorary degree from the University of Victoria today. "It's about time," Nash joked. "I don't know how many theorems and papers and science experiments I gotta come up with before I earned this." Nash will also be carrying the Olympic torch in Vancouver on Feb. 11, 2010. "To carry the torch is incredible, and to do it here in British Columbia is a dream come true," he said.
Saturday's soccer match will be followed by an evening gala after-party at Pop Opera in Gastown.
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