Nash is first Santa Clara athlete to have jersey retired

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Santa Clara University retired Steve Nash's jersey when the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and 1996
graduate spoke at the school's convocation ceremony Monday.

A banner honoring the Phoenix Suns guard was hung in the rafters
at the Leavey Center, and Nash's No. 11 jersey was raised on the
opposite end of the gym. Nash is the first Santa Clara athlete
whose jersey has been raised.

"This is obviously very exciting for me," Nash said. "I don't
get a chance to come back to school often, so for me to be here is
just great, and coupled with the huge honor it is to be able to be
acknowledged for my career, is amazing and very humbling."

Nash was recruited by coach Dick Davey, who still heads the
Santa Clara program, and arrived at the Bay Area school from Canada
in 1992. He led the Broncos to three berths in the NCAA Tournament
and two regular-season titles in the West Coast Conference, winning
the league's Player of the Year award in 1995 and 1996.

"I owe so much to my experience here," Nash told the students
assembled for convocation. "All of you guys really need to take
advantage of this and make the most of your opportunity here. I
urge you to really get involved, to be balanced, to do well in
school, and make as many friends as possible.''