Diagnosed with an enlarged heart that prohibited him from playing basketball this season, former Arizona center Channing Frye has been limited to yoga and playing golf.
Nothing can restrain the 29-year-old’s drive to bring awareness to his condition, especially with February being Heart Awareness Month. He spent the entire day Wednesday on the UA campus before the Wildcats’ game with Washington bringing attention to his “One Heart” campaign for heart health awareness.
“I just want people and parents with kids playing sports to just get tested. It only takes 15 minutes,” Frye said in the official Phoenix Suns blog.
Frye, whose friend works for the Arizona-based apparel line, Sportique, teamed with designers of that company to launch “One Heart” t-shirts to make people more conscious of heart issues. A percentage of the proceeds benefit the Frye Family Foundation, which brings awareness to potential heart problems for young athletes.
He urges high school athletic departments to perform stress tests on varsity athletes as a way of detecting potential heart problems.
Frye believes active adults and children should take 15 minutes to have an EKG performed. Frye is thankful he took the time to be tested.
“Even if we save one life because of this,” Frye told the blog. “My job would be done.”
Good in-depth feature by The Oregonian: Channing Frye, forced to the sidelines, isn’t ready to stay there
Frye is considering traveling with the Suns in late March and April as a way of getting accustomed to the rigors of the road again. If he does not recover and is unable to return to the NBA, he has an appreciation of life after basketball.
“I was really, really lucky that my (condition) was viral and that they caught it before my heart had actually stayed that size,” Frye told the USA Today.
Frye has two seasons and a combined $13.2 million left on his deal with the Suns.
“It’s like a rubber band,” Frye told the USA Today. “If you have a hot rubber band and you’re moving it back and forth it’s going to stretch out, but once you put it in something cold it’s going to stay that big. That’s the problem with a lot of hearts is that they stay that big.
“I’m pretty comfortable with any situation. Do I want to play basketball? You bet your dollar I do. At the same time, I have no control over what my body does. I can just give myself the best opportunity. That’s the best attitude I can take.”
Frye’s year off has enabled him to take in a few Arizona games. He attended the Red-Blue Scrimmage, ASU game in Tempe and Wednesday’s game with Washington at McKale Center. He has developed an analysis of the play of UA freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski, who in the last month has made promising strides.
“He looks great,” Frye told the Arizona Daily Wildcat. “I just think he needs to stop thinking so much. He’s better than what he shows. He’s extremely talented and I think he is just learning how hard you have to work every night to be successful. There are flashes of greatness from him and I think he’s going to be a great college player.”
Here’s Sportiqe’s description of the “One Heart” awareness campaign:
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The month of February is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about prevention. Educate yourself and others on the dangers of heart disease by wearing this One Heart shirt on Valentine’s Day and throughout the month of February. A percentage of the proceeds of this shirt go to the Frye Family Foundation to raise awareness for heart illness and prevention methods. The comfy One Heart shirt is a super soft tri-blend made from 50% polyester, 28% cotton, 22% rayon.”
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner