SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – One of the best players in Santa Clara men's basketball history, Steve Nash, has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Nash, Jason Kidd, Grant Hill, Ray Allen and Maurice Cheeks headline the 2018 class, which also includes the WNBA's Tina Thompson, coach Lefty Driesell, Charlie Scott, executives Rick Welts and Rod Thorn and Dino Radja, Katie Smith and Ora Mae Washington.
Nash played 19 seasons in the NBA where he was an eight-time all-star and seven-time All-NBA choice. He earned league MVP in both 2004-05 and 2005-06 as a member of the Phoenix Suns.
Nash was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in both 1995 and 1996, and led some of the best teams in program history. He was inducted into the Santa Clara Hall of Fame at last year's Red & White Celebration.
During his career, the Broncos posted a 73-42 record, won WCC regular-season titles in 1995 and 1996, and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. Nash, who earned honorable mention All-America honors as a senior in 1995-96, helped Santa Clara claim its first national ranking since 1972-73 when the Broncos reached No. 25 in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls on Dec. 4, 1995.
One of just five players in WCC history to lead the league in both points and assists per game in the same season, Nash, who accomplished that feat in 1994-95, is in the top 10 in many of Santa Clara's career lists, including scoring (7th; 1,689), field-goal attempts (10th; 1,229), 3-pointers (3rd; 263), 3-point attempts (4th; 656), 3-point field-goal percentage (2nd; 40.1), free-throw percentage (1st; 86.0) assists (3rd; 510) and steals (7th; 147).
During his freshman campaign in 1992-93, the team was selected eighth in the WCC preseason poll, but ended up third in the final standings and won the conference tournament with Nash becoming the first freshman to be named MVP of the WCC Tournament.
Santa Clara then proceeded to pull off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. The 15th-seeded Broncos knocked off No. 2 seed and fifth-ranked Arizona, 64-61, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It marked only the second time a No. 15 seed had defeated a No. 2 in the NCAAs.
In 1995-96, Nash and his 17.0 points per game led Santa Clara to a 20-9 overall record and a 10-4 mark in the WCC and a share the WCC regular-season title with Gonzaga. The team made its third trip in a four-year span, including second straight, to the NCAAs. It marked only the second time in program history and the first since the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons that SCU won two-straight conference titles. Nash claimed his second WCC Player of the Year award.
After being knocked out of the 1996 WCC Tournament, Santa Clara earned an at-large berth as a No. 10 seed, again in the West Regional.
In opening-round action in Tempe, Arizona, Santa Clara upset seventh-seeded Maryland, 91-79, led by a game-high 28 points from Nash.
Nash went on to be selected 15th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He also played for the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, and was named by ESPN in 2006 as the ninth-best point guard of all-time. Nash is among the all-time top 10 in NBA history in 3-point field goal percentage (9th; 42.78), free-throw percentage (1st; 90.43), assists, (3rd; 10,335) and assists per game (10th; 8.49).
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