Aug. 15, 2002
TORONTO, Ontario - Former Santa Clara men's basketball star and current NBA All-Star Steve Nash has made the decision not to participate in the 2002 World Basketball Championship for Men in Indianapolis this summer.
Nash made the announcement after practice today in Vancouver, BC.
"I have decided not to play this summer," said Nash. "I am not mentally or physically ready to play this summer. It's a hard decision to leave my team and not represent my country at the world championships.
"However, in the best interest of my career and playing in the Olympics, playing this summer could seriously jeopardize my availability. I will play on Friday in the game against China in Vancouver."
Head Coach Jay Triano will now make the necessary adjustments to his squad as they begin the final preparation for Indianapolis.
"I fully support Steve's decision," said Triano. "Watching him in practice this week, I could see he wasn't able to give 100% mentally or physically.
"We value what he's done for the program over the past 10 years and what he hopes to do in the future. But for him the best decision is to take time and be ready for the NBA season."
"We respect Steve's final decision and the thought process that led to it," said Leslie Dal Cin, executive director of Canada Basketball. "We know it was a difficult decision given his patriotism and commitment to playing for his country.
"Coach Triano will now have to focus his team on the final four exhibition games in British Columbia and Ontario in preparation for the world championships."
The team will now complete its final phase of training. Canada will take on China at GM Place, in Vancouver on Friday, August 16 and then return to Ontario to take on New Zealand at the University of Western Ontario (August 20th) and at Wilfrid Laurier University (August 21st) and Russia at the Air Canada Centre (August 23rd) in the Summer Series 2002.