Oscar Frayer Accident—Grand Canyon Basketball Star Dies After Playing in NCAA Tournament

Grand Canyon star Oscar Frayer died in a car accident just days after playing for the Antelopes at the NCAA Tournament.

According to a statement released by Grand Canyon University on Thursday evening, Frayer was involved in a crash in northern California at around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Andrea Moore, Frayer's older sister, and a third person who was in the vehicle also lost their lives.

Authorities said the trio were traveling on I-5 SB south near Lodi—a city in San Joaquin County, approximately 40 miles south of Sacramento—when their Subaru veered off the road and collided with the rear of a California Highway Patrol vehicle.

The impact launched the CHP cruiser into an embankment, while the Subaru "collided with a tree and became fully engulfed in flames," according to a statement posted on Facebook by the highway patrol's Stockton office.

The two CHP officers involved in the crash "will have a long road to recovery" after suffering major injuries, it added. According to the statement, the two officers had stopped on the side of the road to assist a tractor-trailer.

Frayer, who was 23, started in Grand Canyon's 86-74 loss to Iowa in the first round of March Madness last week. The 6 foot 6 inches guard/forward finished with eight points, five assists, three blocks and a steal.

A native of Oakland, California, Frayer had committed to University of California, Berkeley as a high school recruit. However, he withdrew his commitment and signed for Grand Canyon in 2016, when the program was coached by three-time NBA All-Star Dan Majerle.

He made an immediate impact in his freshman season, averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as the Antelopes won 22 games.

In the 2020-21 season, Frayer started all 24 games, averaging 6.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and two assists per game as the Antelopes made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

"We love 'O.' He was the heartbeat of our team with his vibrant, energetic personality," said Grand Canyon head coach Bryce Drew, in a statement issued by the school.

"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."

He made 107 starts for the Antelopes in his collegiate career. Frayer, whose father died in a car accident when he was just 7 years old, had already graduated with a degree in communications.

The school added: "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.

"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."

Oscar Frayer
Oscar Frayer #4 of the Grand Canyon Antelopes goes to the rim against the New Mexico State Aggies at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on March 13. Frayer died in a car crash on Thursday. Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images