Suns Gorilla, Dancers Surprise Young Fan

Suns.com Columnist

Sometimes the best part of being an NBA franchise has nothing to with basketball. In fact, it has nothing to do with sports at all.

Monday morning was one of those situations for the Phoenix Suns. While draft workouts were taking place at US Airways Center, something just as (if not more) important was taking place 30 miles away in the suburb of Gilbert. That’s where the Gorilla, along with members of the Suns Dancers, got the chance to lift the spirits of a dedicated fan.

That fan was Cody Hatch, a 16 year-old basketball player who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called metastatic paraganglioma. While he thought he was just being interviewed by 3TV’s Good Morning Arizona about his condition, the high schooler got a huge surprise.

The Gorilla, two members of the Suns Dancers and a number of his classmates burst through the door. As confetti rained, the group presented Cory with a signed Suns basketball and a prize pack. The entire event was to encourage the young man as he prepares for multiple surgeries beginning on Tuesday.

While assists on the court can get 18,000 fans on their feet and screaming, sometimes it’s the assists off it that can warm hearts and have a much larger impact. Just ask Cody and his family.

"It's overwhelming," Crista Hatch, Cody’s Mother, told 3TV. "The Suns have been amazing and just having them come, it's just nice, nice to have some good memories come out of this."