The annual soccer tournament hosted by the Steve Nash Foundation is back next Wednesday for its sixth year in a row on the Lower East Side, bringing players from both basketball courts and soccer fields to Nash’s “home pitch” at Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
“This is a very special event for me,” Nash said in a phone conference last Wednesday. “It brings together three of my biggest passions: Helping children through my charity, basketball and soccer.”
The eight-on-eight tournament is put together to raise funds, through the sale of VIP tickets, for underprivileged children affected by poverty, illness, abuse, or neglect. However, both Nash and the foundation’s sponsor, AEG, emphasized that admission is free and anyone can attend.
“Fans can walk up to the parks and be at arms-length with some of their favorite players,” Nash said.
The Showdown boasts international soccer players and big names from the NBA. Previous players included Tony Parker, Jason Kidd, Chris Bosh, Claudio Reyna, Giuseppe Rossi and Thierry Henry, but this year, Nash is keeping quiet about the roster.
One player who is going to be on the court for sure is Nash himself. Though having suffered many injuries this past year, he insisted on playing in both the tournaments in New York and Los Angeles.
“I’m definitely fighting everyday to get back on the stand,” he said.
Nash who grew up in a soccer household sticks to his roots. Rather than hosting the usual basketball tournaments, Nash chooses soccer because it was his “first love” and passion.
“The game has always been really important to me and it’s never really left me,” he said.
With two teams, both of which include NBA players and soccer stars, Nash wants the game to be “as entertaining as possible.” VIP tickets start at $250, which include standing or sitting on the pitch, as well as souvenirs and an opportunity to spend “after hours” with the players. With a $25,000 donation, there is also an opportunity to play alongside the stars. Time Warner Cable is broadcasting the game on to promote the foundation. The match is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
To purchase tickets, click here.