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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Suns forward, former Wildcat Frye awaits end of NBA lockout

It took him four years, but when Channing Frye came back to Tucson this weekend for the Red-Blue Game, he couldn’t have been happier.

On Friday and Saturday night, he could be seen at the bars of Tucson alongside former Wildcats like Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, Richard Jefferson and Andre Iguodala.

Frye loved his return to Tucson so much that he wished he could suit up for the Wildcats.

“I wanna come back,” Frye said. “It feels great to be back in Tucson, man. Such great support. How could you not want to come back here?”

In his four years with the program, spanning from the 2001-02 season until 2005, Frye averaged 13.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. In 2005, the New York Knicks picked him eighth overall, and he played there for two seasons before eventually being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.

After spending two years in Portland, Frye made the choice to return to the state in 2009 when he signed with the Phoenix Suns. Now, Frye is starting to produce at the level he did when he played for the Wildcats. Last year, Frye had his best season as a pro, producing career highs with 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and a block per game.

Frye attributes a lot of his success in recent years to playing alongside future Hall-of-Fame point guard Steve Nash.

“He’s just one of the best passers in the history of basketball. He’s just a great guy and a lot of fun to play with,” Frye said.

With an NBA lockout with no end in sight, it might be a while before Frye is able to get any more assists from Nash. But, he said the team is ready to go whenever the lockout ends.

“Everyone is kind of to themselves, and kinda just making sure that everyone is ready in case the season does start,” Frye said.

In the meantime, Frye is taking advantage of the free time that has come as a result of the lockout.

Frye said he will “just continue working out and continue staying in shape and use this opportunity to spend time here (in Tucson) and spend time with my family.”

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