Steve Nash's Showdown Draws Soccer, NBA Stars to the Lower East Side
LOWER EAST SIDE — Soccer stars and some of the NBA's finest laced up their cleats Wednesday for the annual Steve Nash Foundation Showdown, an eight-a-side celebrity match that drew hundreds of footy fans to Sara D. Roosevelt.
Nash, a two-time league MVP and avid soccer player, competed with fellow pro athletes like Philadelphia 76er Elton Brand, San Antonio Spur Danny Green and soccer players Salomon Kalou, Stu Holden and Patrick Vieira of the English Premier League.
Proceeds from the fifth-annual event went to Nash's foundation, which works to help underserved children.
Crowds lined the fence to watch the friendly match, with fans buzzing over the ongoing 2012 Euro Cup and with many making references to Spain's win over Portugal only moments before the charity match began.
Others, however, had a more local thought in mind, screaming for Nash to come play for the New York Knicks.
Nash's friend Roberto Angiolucci refereed the match — despite having a broken whistle that didn't work during the entire first half.
"What can you do?" he said after the game. "It's all for fun."
Angiolucci added that he and Nash often play soccer together at Sara D. Roosevelt Park whenever the Suns star is in town.
"We will probably be playing tomorrow again," he said.