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University of Florida's Eddie Shannon Honored With Frontier Communications Most Courageous Award.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. and GAINESVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 9, 1999--Frontier Communications today announced Eddie Shannon, senior point guard for the nationally-ranked Florida Gators men's basketball program, has been honored as this year's recipient of the Frontier Most Courageous Award as voted by the United States Basketball Writers Association. Created during the 1978-79 season, the Frontier Most Courageous Award was designed to honor someone within the sport of college basketball who demonstrates extraordinary courage beyond the playing floor.

While playing with some of his seventh grade friends, Shannon was unintentionally hit in the right eye with a rock, forever altering his vision. Following the accident, he underwent surgery to remove blood clots from his eye, and a year later, had a cataract removed. As an eighth grader, his vision began to blur, and he could only see shadows. Even with limited vision, Shannon went on to star for Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., which led him to be heavily recruited.

After accepting a scholarship from the University of Florida four years ago, Shannon has continually excelled on the basketball court, although his vision has gotten progressively worse. This past summer, Eddie lost complete sight in his right eye and began experiencing severe discomfort. After consulting a doctor, he made the decision to have a certain type of surgery, known as an inviceration, which involves removing parts of his eye. Six weeks later, he was fitted with a cosmetic prosthesis that covers his damaged cornea.

This season, wearing protective eye goggles, having no vision in his right eye and experiencing little depth perception, the 5' 10" Shannon has continued in his role as a starting guard for the Gators. This year he is closing in on Florida career records for assists and steals, and has helped lead the Gators to a Top 25 ranking for the first time in four years and the school's first NCAA Tournament berth since 1995.

"I feel very honored to be selected to receive the Frontier Most Courageous Award. Some people might look at the fact that I have vision in only one eye and feel sorry for me, I've never looked at things that way," said Shannon. "I'm thankful that I have vision in the other eye and I am thankful for the support I have received."

"My doctors, my family, my coaches, my teammates and the fans have been very supportive - that has meant a lot to me," he continued. "I never let my condition hold me back from chasing my dream of playing college basketball at the highest level. Hopefully, I can inspire others to chase their dreams as well."

Added Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan, "We have been very fortunate to have someone like Eddie Shannon around our program to serve as an inspiration. He comes to each practice and game and competes like a championship is on the line every time. I wish I could coach 15 Eddie Shannons. What has impressed me the most about Eddie is that he has never used his limited vision as an excuse. If anything, it has driven him even more to succeed."

According to Frontier Vice President of Merchandising Kevin Beatson, Shannon should be revered not only as a role model for his accomplishments on the basketball court, but also the dignity, selflessness and courage he has demonstrated in dealing with this accident.

"By continuing to compete and excel at the very highest level of college basketball with only limited vision, Eddie has demonstrated a remarkable amount of heart and determination that I'm sure will guide him through a very successful life," said Beatson. "We are very proud to honor him with this award."

A formal presentation of the Frontier Most Courageous Award to Eddie Shannon will be made during Final Four weekend, March 27-29, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

About Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications, a unit of Frontier Corporation (NYSE:FRO), is one of the leading providers of integrated communications solutions -- including Internet, IP and data applications, long distance, local telephone and conferencing -- to business customers nationwide. The self-healing Frontier Optronics Network(SM) provides customers with faster transmission speeds, greater bandwidth capacity and unrivaled reliability. For more information, visit the Frontier web site at

You can receive a faxed copy of any Frontier Communications press release dating back to March 1998, free of charge, 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-448-8533. An automated system will provide you with instructions.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Mar 9, 1999
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