The 2012 Showdown launched the Steve Nash Foundation on twitter, and marked the first Showdown in recent history without rain.  In fact, the weather couldn’t have been better – who doesn’t love a gorgeous summer breeze on an 80F+ day? – and the City responded: thousands joined us at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in NYC (and others via social media) for the 5th annual Showdown on the Lower East Side on Wednesday, June 27th.


The morning started out bright and early: Crunch Gym hosted the GNC Steve Nash Workout – eight contest winners spent a grueling (and laugh-filled) hour with Steve and his personal physiotherapist, Dr. Rick Celebrini, in a boxing ring (no punches pulled) built for ten.  Using the latest in core science, the class introduced new concepts to a great group of fans and fitness lovers, including some former Showdown organizers. . . .


Then was a little matter of the European Semi-Finals to get to – Showdowners and friends of the Foundation gathered at New York City landmark (and fabulous supporter of the Steve Nash Foundation, with almost $100,000 raised for SNF’s child-focused platforms), Phebe’s Tavern, to watch Spain edge out Portugal.


Next up: Steve met with Naked Pizza’s Slice with Steve winner, Nadia (and her two adorable charges!) for a pizza lunch and a chat, on a beautiful patio – an energizing oasis of a meeting (people: if there is no Naked Pizza where you live, make them change that.  Delicious!  Use yourFind Me Gluten Free ap to find one near you. . . .) in a busy day.  Bidding adieu until kickoff, Steve sprinted up to the Players Lounge (with amazing Penthouse views of NYC) to gather up teams, cool off with some Wat-aah!, watch the tail end of the semi-final match for a little Euro-style inspiration, and dish out Adidas soccer kits (in some of the biggest soccer sizes ever made, thanks to Modell’s) to the guys.  As the men dressed for footie, the women of Showdown sampled the bright pink joy of a Birchbox, and sparkled in the Steve Nash Foundation “Hoops” line by famed Italian jewler Roberto Coin.  With kids running around, the KICKTV Media Suite in full-swing, the Showdown players once again impressed with their grace, enthusiasm for charitable action, and (we’ll say it again, at the risk of objectifying anyone – because, really, we adore them for their hearts) rugged good looks.


Catching them just before they had to leave for the field, Steve enjoyed time with representatives from some of Showdown’s wonderful 2012 sponsors: GNC, Sunshine Cinema, Find Me Gluten Free, MLS, Modell’s, Gucci, Adidas, KICKTV, and Naked Pizza. While they were whisked off to their VIP seats on the pitch, Steve corralled the athletes onto their own bus, with a few surprise hitchhikers: Thierry Henry and Red Bulls teammates arrived to support the Showdown.  Arriving at the historic New York City Park to cheering fans eager to see these icons of sport, the players met with children of all ages, signing autographs, talking with the press, and kicking around with kids from the Claudio Reyna Foundation soccer clinics, and some of the Steve Nash Foundation’s favorite little family members.  Gucci welcomed Steve and Thierry to the field to present theShowdown Captains of the Game iGucci watches (check these out!), and by the time Showdown Host Spero Dedes kicked us off, the sun was high, the mood higher, and everyone ready for action.  Fueled by the popcorn of Sunshine Cinema and inspired by Major League Soccer‘s Red Bullsfreestylers, we lost track of the goals scored, but know that Showdown lifers Marc Stein and Simone Sandri scored the first and second goals, respectively, and that Salomon Kalou was named Player of the Match and presented his own iGucci timepiece.


TEAM WHITE: Giuseppe Rossi (coach), Steve Nash, Salomon Kalou, Carlalberto (Charlie) Ludi, Alessandro Noselli, Emmerson Boyce, Elton Brand, Simone Sandri.

TEAM GREEN: Stu Holden (coach), Marc Stein, Danny Green, Maurice (Mo) Edu, Mike Dunleavy, Mehdi Ballouchy, Robbie Rogers, Jimmy Conrad.


At the end, it was Team Nash again with the victory, but a win for children everywhere – Showdown ’12 benefited Educare Arizona, the Steve Nash Foundation’s early learning platform, providing highest-quality education and healthcare for children and families in poverty.  Check out the photos ~ hope to see you on the pitch next summer!


The 2012 Showdown wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of the Promotion Factory and Manno Media – we thank them for their incredible work, and passion for growing health in kids (their power to create sunshiny weather is also appreciated).