Grand Canyon's Oscar Frayer dies in car accident 3 days after playing in March Madness

Jack Baer
·Writer
·4 min read

Grand Canyon forward Oscar Frayer died in a car accident Tuesday, three days after the first and last NCAA tournament game of his five-year college basketball career.

GCU announced his death Thursday night:

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The 23-year-old Frayer, his sister and his girlfriend were in an SUV when it veered off the road early Tuesday morning, hit a California Highway Patrol car, struck a tree and caught fire, according to SF Gate. All three occupants of the SUV reportedly died, while two CHP personnel sustained serious injuries. Photos posted by the CHP Stockton Facebook page show the extent of the damage.

News of Frayer's death was first reported by WAC Hoops Digest.

FULLERTON, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Oscar Frayer #4 of the Grand Canyon Lopes reaches for a rebound in the second half of the game against the Utah Utes during the Wooden Legacy Tournament at Titan Gym on November 23, 2018 in Fullerton, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Oscar Frayer helped lead Grand Canyon to its most successful season in school history. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Only 57 hours before his crash, Frayer was playing No. 2 seed Iowa in the West bracket of March Madness in Indiana. Frayer, a redshirt senior, finished with eight points, five assists, three rebounds and three blocks, and delivered one of the game's highlights with a chase-down block of the Hawkeyes' Connor McCaffery:

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Frayer, whose father also died in a car crash according to San Francisco's KPIX, was reportedly visiting family in California after the loss to Iowa.

A member of the Grand Canyon men's basketball team since 2016, Frayer started as a freshman out of Hayward, California, and accrued 970 points and 515 rebounds over the course of five years. He was forced to sit out what would have been his senior year due to academic ineligibility, but made it back to the court this season and helped lead the Antelopes to the first March Madness berth in school history. The program won both the WAC regular season and tournament championship, its first titles since making the jump to Division I in 2013.

From Grand Canyon's release:

"We love O," GCU head coach Bryce Drew said. "He was the heartbeat of our team with his vibrant, energetic personality. I cannot put into words the hurt and sadness we all feel, but we know he is in heaven and that gives us great joy to know we will be together again."

Following the loss to Iowa, Frayer posted what turned out to be his final tweet, thanking the Grand Canyon fans for following along.

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News of Frayer's death prompted numerous tributes to a player gone too soon, from teammates and opponents:

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