All-star NBA point guard Steve Nash was given the key to the City of Winnipeg on Monday.

Mayor Sam Katz presented the key during an event at the I.H Asper Clinical Research Institute on Monday.

Nash, the Canadian star for the Phoenix Suns, was in the city to receive the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation's 2011 International Award.

He was recognized for his commitment to improving circumstances and creating opportunities for children living in poverty, or with illness, abuse or neglect.

The city key honour is bestowed upon visiting dignitaries, with past recipients including former CFL star Milt Stegall, Sir Bob Geldof, Olympian Jon Montgomery and actor-director Henry Winkler.

However, it came under scrutiny in June when blood-spitting, fire-breathing and tongue-wagging rocker Gene Simmons was made a recipient.

Nash was named the league's most valuable player in the 2004-05 NBA season and again in the 2005–06 season.