Updated: 9:31 AM PDT, March 29, 2021
Just three days after playing in the NCAA tournament, Oscar Frayer, a forward on the men’s basketball team at Grand Canyon University, died Tuesday in a car accident near Lodi, California, the school’s athletics department said Thursday.
Frayer and his sister, 28-year-old Andrea Moore, were killed, along with Caley Bringmann, 21, of Anchorage, Alaska, according to the San Joaquin County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“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.”
Grand Canyon, seeded 15th in the NCAA tournament, lost to No. 2 seed Iowa in the round of 64 on Saturday in Indianapolis, Indiana. Frayer scored eight points in his final game. This was Grand Canyon’s first men’s NCAA tournament appearance.
The former All-WAC Defensive Team honoree holds the Lopes’ Division I-era record for career-blocked shots with 93. Frayer also ranks fourth for career points (970) and 3-pointers made (144) while coming within one swipe of the career-steals record.
With three double-double performances as a Lope, Frayer delivered some of his best efforts in GCU’s biggest games.
As a freshman, the 6-foot-6 swingman posted 19 points and six rebounds when the Lopes upset San Diego State. He scored a career-high 23 points and added 10 rebounds at New Mexico State as a sophomore, when he also grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in a 2018 WAC Tournament game. He averaged 8.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks over his career and made 35% of his 3-pointers over his last three seasons, according to the school’s athletics department.
GCU won 65 percent of its games with Frayer on the roster, going 81-44 in his four seasons.
“On the court, Oscar was known as the ‘High Flyer’ and will be remembered for his soaring dunks, tenacious defense and game-changing blocked shots,” a university statement read. “Off the court, he will be remembered for his infectious smile, energetic spirit and caring soul that made him one of the most well-liked students on campus.”
Frayer had already graduated and received his degree in communications. He was set to participate in the school’s commencement ceremony next month.
His final message to his team on Twitter said, “It’s forever love.”
People throughout the basketball community in Oakland, California, where Frayer was a high school star, have expressed their condolences.
Former Cal star Ivan Rabb, who battled Frayer at the prep level, tweeted a broken heart.
Liam Lloyd, one of Frayer’s teammates at GCU, said the senior was his “big brother.”
Frayer was raised by his mother after his father died in a car accident when Frayer was 7 years old. His Twitter bio says, “Rest In Peace Dad.”
The school will hold a “celebration of life” service at GCU Arena on Tuesday to honor Frayer and those in the GCU community who have died during the academic year.