Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 10/1/12
PHOENIX -- In the latest twist to Arizona State-Arizona rivalry, a Sun Devil just might be taking a Wildcat's place with the Phoenix Suns this season. With big man Channing Frye expected to miss the upcoming season after being diagnosed with an enlarged heart, the Suns on Monday added former ASU standout Ike Diogu to their training camp roster. Diogu and a few other forwardcenter types will compete to help fill the void created by Frye's absence. After competing for Nigeria in the 2012 Olympics in London, Diogu sought an opportunity to practice with fellow NBA players as he awaited his next opportunity. He still keeps a part-time residence in the Valley, and he heard Suns players were working out at US Airways Center. "Just playing open gym here, I think I surprised a lot of people," Diogu said Monday at Suns media day. Surprise or not, Diogu made an impression on Suns general manager Lance Blanks, who extended an invite to training camp, which starts Tuesday in San Diego. Diogu accepted and hopes he can do enough in the five-day training camp to stick with the Suns. "I think I need to just come out and play the way I played when (Blanks) and the coaching staff were here (for informal workouts)," Diogu said. "Just come out and be that missing link that they need." The upcoming season would be Diogu's eighth in the NBA. He played in two games last season with the San Antonio Spurs following stints with the Los Angeles Clippers (2010-11), Sacramento Kinds (2008-09), Indiana Pacers (2006-08) and Golden State Warriors (2005-07). With the Suns, Diogu will try to build on momentum gained in a strong Olympic showing. Diogu averaged 14.8 points and 9.0 rebounds in London and felt the experience was a big step for Nigerian basketball. "Being able to represent Nigeria and making history for the country was unbelievable," Diogu said. "Unfortunately we didn't have the best showing, but still, to accomplish what we accomplished and face all the struggles we faced -- which is something nobody will ever find out about -- it was unbelievable. Nobody can take anything away from us for what we accomplished for Nigeria." Diogu also has stayed close to the ASU program, where he starred from 2002-05. After averaging 21.4 points and 8.8 rebounds and earning Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in 2005, Diogu was drafted ninth overall by the Warriors, one spot behind Frye. Diogu said he occasionally plays pickup basketball at ASU's Weatherup Center and did so recently with fellow alumnus James Harden. While it remains to be seen if Diogu ends up being the player the Suns need to round out their roster, he believes Phoenix represents the next chapter of his basketball career. "After the success that I had this summer, I really just want to carry it over and show people that I'm a legitimate player in this league," Diogu said. "I havent really gotten the best opportunities since I came into the league, but the success that I had this summer, which opened a lot of eyes, I just want to build on that and have a career year this year."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault


Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker