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Ex-Wildcat Channing Frye out for season with an enlarged heart

Channing Frye

Channing Frye blocks a shot from UCLA’s Arron Afflalo in a game at Pauley Paviliion in 2005. Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Former Arizona Wildcats center Channing Frye has developed a dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, and will not play this season for the Phoenix Suns.

“The good news is it is a virus so it does have a good chance of going away,” Frye told the Arizona Republic, our Gannett partner. “My heart can be normal again.”

The condition was discovered as part of a routine preseason physical by the Suns, according to a press release from the team. Frye will not participate in basketball activities and will be re-evaluated in December.

“Nothing is more important to us than the health and well-being of our players,” Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said in the statement.

“Channing and his family have the full support of our organization. His health is our primary concern and we are committed to helping him in any way he needs.”

Frye went to the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis for further testing Wednesday.

“It was very shocking and, at the same time, scary,” Frye told the Republic about his situation. “It’s not like an arm or a knee or an elbow where you’re like, ‘Maybe I can just rehab this.’ It’s something that keeps you going.”

Frye started 119 games for Arizona in his four-year career, averaging 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. As a senior, he averaged 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in the 2004-05 season.

Frye, 29, has spent seven seasons in the NBA, including the past three with his hometown Suns. The graduate of Phoenix St. Mary’s High School has averaged 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 500 NBA games. With the Suns, he has become a prolific 3-point shooter.

Follow the link to send your well wishes to Frye.

(I often get asked about my who have been my favorite Arizona athletes to cover in the past two decades, and Frye is someone who is always near the top of my list. Affable, well-spoken, smart about subjects other than sports, charitable … Frye has been and will continue to be a great representative of Arizona.)

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