“Character is more important than talent.”
Those words by Edwin Louis Cole describe Suns forward Channing Frye perfectly.
Frye has been known for his on-the-court talents since his years at Saint Mary’s High School in Phoenix. While fans have spent years cheering for his dead on three-point shooting and his ability to score in bunches, it is his character that has shown through most recently.
Despite being faced with a diagnosis of a dilated cardiomyopathy, or enlarged heart, last week Frye has remained more upbeat than most healthy people are on a daily basis. During the press conference discussing the issue with local media on Friday, the 6-11 big man still managed to laugh and smile, even with his basketball future a question mark. It’s a true testament to what kind of a person he is.
His positive attitude was on display as he fielded questions. Despite the gravity of the situation, Frye found a way to make those in attendance laugh. Like was the case before the diagnosis, his smile managed to brighten up a room that had an otherwise dark mood.
In his first comments to those in attendance, his attitude became very apparent.
“It’s not a good situation,” Frye said. “At the same time, I have hope.”
He even managed to take a positive outlook on what will amount to at least a few months away from the court.
“This is a rare opportunity to spend time with my family that may not come again,” he explained to the gathered media. “Especially with my kids being so young.”
In the NBA, wins and losses seem to be the most important thing and players are judged on their advanced statistics. Rarely is there a situation where these warriors of the hardwood get to be truly appreciated for the men they are away from the court. In the toughest of times for Channing, from a personal and professional standpoint, the fans and the organization get to truly stand up and appreciate what kind of a man he is in the arena and outside of it. (Even his teammate Jared Dudley did by showing up to the press conference.)
It’s tough to imagine that you’d be able to find a nicer guy not only in the Suns’ organization, but around the league than Channing. He values his family and isn’t afraid to put his sense of humor on display for all to see.
In a league where talent is what earns you playing time, headlines and contracts, Channing Frye is continued proof that no matter how much talent you have it’s your character that is most important.
In trying times, character shines through, and for Frye, it’s shining bright right now. As an employee of the Suns, I couldn’t be prouder to have someone like him representing the organization and fans should feel the same way. Though he has a massive amount of talent, he has even more character. Hopefully we will see both take center court at the US Airways Center soon.