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Phoenix Suns surprise local coach with award

Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 21:50:54-04

PHOENIX — Pinnacle High School basketball coach Charlie Wilde is adding another accolade to his list of accomplishments.

On Thursday, Wilde received the Spirit of Cotton Award from the Phoenix Suns.

The award is named after former Suns head coach and hall of famer Cotton Fitzsimmons.

"Knowing Cotton, knowing what he represented... He was just an unbelievable person," Wilde said.

The award recognizes coaches that have a positive impact on and off the court.

"Our kids are the ones that go out and do all the stuff," he said. "Our kids are the ones that help kids that may have disabilities or special needs and they're great with those kids."

Fitzsimmons' widow JoAnn presented the award to Wilde.

She told ABC15 it means a lot to honor her husband's legacy.

"A coach has the ability, much more so, in many cases, than parents because sometimes kids tune out their parents, but they tend to listen to their coach," she said.

Officials with the Phoenix Suns were also on hand to present the award.

They also gave him a $10,000 grant to help the athletic department.

"I didn't realize I was getting that either so that's nice to see all those zeros come through on the check, so exciting," he said. "We'll do something for the kids or for the programs or for the program — something that'll be special for them and everyone will remember it."