Suns guard Steve Nash is the 2007 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship award, presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association.
Named after the former NBA commissioner, the award recognizes an NBA player or coach for outstanding community service and commitment to serve and give of his time outside the arena.
Nash has helped countless children through the Steve Nash Foundation, formed in 2001 with the goal of assisting underserved kids in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life.
The foundation’s focus areas of Phoenix and Nash’s home in British Columbia have been expanded to other countries including equipping a neonatal intensive care ward — including incubators that were in dire need — in Paraguay.
Nash is the second Suns player to win the Kennedy award, joining Kevin Johnson in 1991.
The Suns’ media relations staff, led by vice president of basketball communications Julie Fie, has won the inaugural PBWA’s Media Relations Staff of the Year award.
Shirt off their backs
The Suns once again ranked among the top 10 NBA teams in merchandise sales. Phoenix ranked eighth overall behind (in order): the L.A. Lakers, Miami, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver and Boston.
Individually, Steve Nash’s No. 13 jersey finished fifth among all NBA players, trailing only Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Allen Iverson (Bryant changed numbers and Iverson changed teams, which spiked sales of both).
The Suns will work out four more draft hopefuls today, headlined by Oregon point guard Aaron Brooks (17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists as a senior). Phoenix will also take a look at Cal State Fullerton point guard Bobby Brown (20.2 points, 5.1 rebounds as a senior), Notre Dame shooting guard Russell Carter (17.1 points, 39 percent 3-point shooting) and Temple guard Dustin Salisbery (16.4 points, 5.0 assists).
The Suns set another franchise record in 2006-07, and the Valley will benefit greatly. Phoenix Suns Charities announced Monday it will award a record $760,900 to 103 different charitable organizations in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. That’s the largest one-year donation in the 18-year history of the charity and more than $200,000 over last year’s donations.
The Suns have now donated more than $7 million since 1989, when the charity was formed.