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This article was published 12/9/2011 (3732 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
SEVEN-TIME NBA all-star Steve Nash may not be Mother Teresa, but he now has something in common with the famous humanitarian.
Nash, a point guard with the Phoenix Suns, is the recipient of the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation's 2011 International Award, which previously has been bestowed upon the likes of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, polio vaccine discoverer Jonas Salk and Pope John Paul II.
"Looking at the list of names preceding me, it's very humbling and flattering," Nash told reporters at St. Boniface Hospital on Monday morning, before touring biomedical research facilities there.
The South Africa-born, British Columbia-raised basketball star was given the award for his commitment to children's rights and the work he does through his foundation, which strives to improve the health, development and education of children living in poverty or with illness, abuse or neglect.
"I'm very honoured to be here to accept this great honour," he said at the award dinner at the MTS Centre Monday evening. "The Steve Nash Foundation is something I'm very proud of."
Nash said Terry Fox, Wayne Gretzky and his parents have inspired his commitment to his sport.
"I love to compete and I love to challenge myself. I was born with a real passion for sports," he said. "I think about training when I go to bed at night and I wake up thinking about training."
After he spoke he was given a Winnipeg Jets jersey, one of the first to be given to anyone outside True North Sports & Entertainment.
Earlier in the day, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz gave Nash the key to the city, praising the basketball player's philanthropic work.
The last recipient of the key was KISS frontman Gene Simmons.
Nash also played basketball with university athletes in the afternoon and was later inducted into the province's Order of the Buffalo Hunt for his humanitarian work.