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Old 09-15-2011, 05:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Steve Nash wants bigger involvement with national hoops team

“This is my country, and this is my program that I spent 13 years in, and I’d like to be a bigger part of it.”

The declaration by a multimillion-dollar NBA all-star point guard, Steve Nash, sounds sincere and convincing. But as Canada’s men’s team sits on the Olympic sidelines for the third consecutive Summer Games, it’s time to reassess the system that produces would-be Olympians.

“I wanted to consider playing this summer. But the truth is I was rehabbing an injury all summer and couldn’t have played regardless,” Nash said Tuesday as he pressed the buzzer at Toronto’s stock exchange to kick off trading. The spectacle was planned for the launch of a new “functional beverage” called Liquid Nutrition. Advertising says it’s infused with vitamins and supplements, which sounds like everything an Olympics-bound sports team needs – with the exception of providing an actual berth in the Games.

A spot in the 2016 Games at Rio de Janeiro is the best Canada can hope for after missing out this year. The allure of playing for the maple leaf needs to be revitalized, Nash said.

“If I were 110-per-cent healthy and knew [because of the NBA work stoppage] we weren’t going to go back to work until November or December; if they’d called me up and said ‘Here’s what we’re doing,’ I’d love to have played,” he said.

“At some point, I’ll definitely be part of the program,” he said. “I’m not sure what capacity yet and I’m not sure when, but this is my country and this is my program. I spent 13 years as part of it, and I’d like to be a bigger part of it, in a bigger role at some point, when the time is right … not just so that we can make Olympic Games, but so we can get kids playing the sport and learning and growing and participating and improving their lifestyle.”
LINK - Globe and Mail
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