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Grand Canyon’s Oscar Frayer dies in car accident three days after NCAA tournament game

Grand Canyon's Oscar Frayer puts up a shot against New Mexico State.
Grand Canyon’s Oscar Frayer puts up a shot against New Mexico State during the Western Athletic Conference tournament championship game March 13 in Las Vegas.
(Chase Stevens / Associated Press)

Grand Canyon senior Oscar Frayer died early Tuesday morning in a car accident near Lodi, Calif., three days after he started for the Antelopes in their first-ever NCAA tournament game.

“He was the heartbeat of our team with his vibrant, energetic personality,” Grand Canyon coach Bryce Drew said in a statement released by the university. “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.”

Frayer’s older sister, Andrea Moore, and an unidentified third person in their vehicle also died in the crash.

Their car hit a California Highway Patrol vehicle from behind on the side of a highway, then ran into a tree and caught fire, local authorities said. The CHP said two officers suffered major injuries but are expected to survive.

Frayer grew up in the Oakland area. He told the GCU sports website in December that basketball became his refuge after his father died in an automobile accident when Frayer was 7.

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“I needed to fill a void in my life,” he said. “I needed to get into something positive consistently. I just knew I could get on the court and everything else would go away.”

High school sports have returned to Southern California. For one dad and his water polo-playing daughter, many big memories were packed into two weeks.

Frayer started three years at Grand Canyon but then became academically ineligible and missed what would have been his senior season in 2019-20.

“I thought basketball was over with,” he said. “I’d never been in a situation where I sacrificed basketball. I know the decisions I was making last year were sacrificing basketball. It gave me a different outlook on life.”

After improving his grades, Frayer was allowed to reclaim his starting spot for a final season with the Antelopes. He finished his career with 93 blocked shots, the record for a Grand Canyon player since the team moved to Division I in 2013. He started 107 games (third most in the team’s Division I era), scored 970 points (fourth), made 144 three-pointers (fourth) and had 118 steals (second).

Grand Canyon won the Western Athletic Conference tournament this season and played Iowa in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday. Frayer had eight points, five assists, three blocks and a steal during the 86-74 loss.

After the game, Frayer posted what would be his final tweet.

“I bleed purple FOREVER!!!! THANK YOU LOPE NATION for the last 5 years..it’s been nothing less than amazing..from President Mueller, to our coaching staff, to my brothers who I compete with everyday..it’s love FOREVER. 4 Gone”

Frayer is being remembered by the Grand Canyon family on social media.


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