Nash honored by Wheaties cereal

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
By Brad Faye,
Posted: April 18, 2006

Michael Jordan.

George Mikan.

Steve Nash?

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash is yet again being recognized with a great honor – his own Wheaties box.

The special edition box of the popular breakfast cereal was unveiled Tuesday morning at the US Airways Center and features the All-Star point guard - quite fittingly - with the ball in his hands looking to make a play. The unveiling was the first time Nash had an opportunity to see the finished product as well, one he says he is quite pleased with.

“It’s amazing, almost surreal,” said Nash, the first Suns player in history to grace the cereal box cover. “It’s just a huge honor to be a part of this tradition and it’s something I never imagined.”

The decision was made by Wheaties and was one Wheaties marketing representative Jenny Foster insists wasn’t very difficult to make.

“We decided to look at who the great champions are out there, not only on the court but off the court as well,” Foster said at the unveiling. "He seemed like a great fit, a natural choice.”

Quite fitting that Nash be presented on the cover to the cereal known worldwide as the “breakfast of champions” as he and the Suns are in the midst of gearing up for a title run themselves. The team is set to tip off the playoffs this weekend in Phoenix, their opponent still unknown.

“Hopefully being associated with the breakfast of champions will be a prelude of things to come for us,” Nash said with a smile.

His teammates also received the opportunity for a sneak preview and like Nash were certainly pleased with not only the final results, but Wheaties choice for a cover boy, as well.

“It’s definitely a great honor for him and if anybody deserves it it’s him,” said Eddie House before boarding the team bus to Portland, where the Suns will wrap up the regular season against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Raja Bell has been a teammate of Nash’s in both Dallas and Phoenix, and agreed a better choice would be awfully hard to find.

“I think he stands for what a teammate should be and what organized sports are all about,” Bell said. “He’s a guy who gives a 110 percent whenever he’s on the court and I think the Wheaties spot is reserved for athletes just like him.”

The box is expected to hit stores nationally sometime in May. Nash is the third Canadian to make the Wheaties cover alongside hockey legends Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

Since its humble beginnings back in 1924, Wheaties has been endorsed by some of the biggest icons in sports history including Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and Mickey Mantle. Wheaties has even branched outside the world of sports, helping to gain notoriety for a certain eventual President as well. In 1937, a sportscaster from Des Moines, Iowa named Ronald Reagan, was voted the most popular Wheaties announcer in the country and was awarded a trip to the Cubs’ spring training camp in California. While there, Reagan took a screen test at Warner Brothers, one which eventually earned him a role as a film star. A career in politics would follow as Reagan went on to become the 40th president of the United States.

The bottom line remains, however, it is generally those on the field – or in this case the hardwood – recognized most by the popular breakfast cereal. All-time greats have also included athletes like Roberto Clemente, Carl Lewis, Tiger Woods, Lou Gehrig, Chris Evert, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Mia Hamm and the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks, as well. It is a list in which Steve Nash certainly wouldn’t mind joining in more ways than one.