The Arrival

Chaminade University partnered with Make-A-Wish Foundation on August 16 to grant the wish of a lifetime for a young man with a life threatening health condition. Xhosa Fray-Chinn was selected to have his wish come true and has traveled to Hawaii with his family. What he did not know was that he was going to become an Honorary Chaminade University Men’s Basketball Silversword for the day.

The Fray-Chinn family– Karen Fray, mom; Vernon Chinn, dad; Zora Fray-Chinn, sister–accompanied Xhosa to Chaminade’s campus this Friday at 10 a.m. to meet with Chaminade president Bro. Bernard Ploeger, SM, Athletics director Bill Villa and other staff members on what Xhosa thought was to be a tour of campus.

When he stepped into McCabe Gym, he was greeted with cheers from a large crowd in the bleachers and enthusiastic Silversword basketball players and coaches on the floor. Head coach Eric Bovaird welcomed him to play with the team.  Excitement rumbled through the bleachers as Xhosa suited up in his Chaminade jersey and joined the workout. Staff from Student Support Services had a make-shift banner with Xhosa’s name on; others waved pompoms; some shouted through blue megaphones; all cheered for the new Silversword player as Alumni director Be-Jay Kodama and new provost Helen Whippy drummed up the crowd. The players ran through drills of dribbling, shooting and passing.

A year ago, the talented Xhosa looked forward to college basketball scholarships and a promising future. He suddenly suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed after a game of pickup basketball at a Florida school. Through his father’s CPR and the school’s AED, he survived. After a five day coma, he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardio myopathy (HCM); his days of competitive basketball were over. Xhosa now lives with an internal defibrillator.

“As an access higher education institution, we have made many dreams come true for our students and their families. Today, however, was very special because we were able to participate in making this young man’s wish come true…a wonderful milestone.” said Villa. “It is a milestone not just for Xhosa, but for our players, coaches, and entire Chaminade community of supporters as well,” he stated, thanking the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the opportunity to partner on this initiative.

What a great time for the whole campus! Marianists and members from Saint Louis School joined the Chaminade crowd in the event.  Some say they heard the shouts as far as the library.  After the event, the Fray-Chinn family did take the tour of the campus.  They felt wonderful and blessed afterwards, but it was two-sided. The Chaminade community felt doubly blessed as well.  Oh, yes, and tomorrow Xhosa will celebrate his 19th birthday, happy to be alive.  What a way to spend a moment of summer!

Chaminade University is known nationally for its basketball program, stemming from a 1982 victory over top ranked team Virginia—still considered one of the biggest athletics upsets of all time.

Make-A-Wish® grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average, every 38 minutes. The organization staff and volunteers believe that a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides and inspires all of those involved.

Educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. Chaminade University has been accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the nationally recognized agency for accreditation of post-secondary institutions in its area of the United States.  A Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander serving institution, Chaminade is located at 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 9681, which is its main campus. It also has nine satellite locations around Oahu. For more information, visit www.chaminade.edu or call (808) 735-4711.###

kryan@chaminade.edu   (808) 735-4797