Grand Canyon's Oscar Frayer killed in highway crash days after men's NCAA Tournament game

Richard Obert, Arizona Republic
·4 min read

Grand Canyon University senior basketball player Oscar Frayer was killed in a car accident in northern California on Tuesday, the San Joaquin Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Thursday late afternoon.

A second victim, 28-year-old Andrea Moore from Stockton, also died. She is Frayer's sister. The third name has not yet been released.

It happened three days after he scored eight points, five assists, and blocked three shots in GCU's men's NCAA Tournament first-round loss to Iowa in Indianapolis.

GCU had heard of the accident in Lodi, California, but was not able to confirm Frayer's death until Thursday evening.

"It is with great sorrow and a heavy heart that we share the news that Grand Canyon University student and basketball player Oscar Frayer was one of three individuals who died in an auto accident in Lodi, California, on Tuesday," the statement said. "Also in the vehicle was Oscar’s sister, Andrea Moore, 28, from Stockton, California. The identity of the third individual has not yet been released by the San Joaquin Medical Examiner’s office."

A California Highway Patrol Vehicle was severely damaged and two officers injured when the car was struck from behind Tuesday morning. Three people in the other vehicle were killed.
A California Highway Patrol Vehicle was severely damaged and two officers injured when the car was struck from behind Tuesday morning. Three people in the other vehicle were killed.

Frayer, who is from Oakland and graduated from Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, California, was 23.

He started 24 games this season for the Antelopes, helping them reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

The team returned home Sunday from Indianapolis.

The crash occurred about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, on Interstate 5 just south of Walnut Grove, California, according to a statement issued by the California Highway Patrol.

Two CHP officers had stopped to assist a disabled tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes when a 2021 Subaru SUV veered from the road and rear-ended the stopped CHP patrol vehicle, the statement said.

The Subaru then collided with a tree and became fully engulfed in flames, CHP said. All three people inside the Subaru were pronounced dead at the scene, the statement said.

Oscar Frayer, college basketball, 1998-2021
Oscar Frayer, college basketball, 1998-2021

The two officers were taken to a hospital with ''major injuries,'' CHP said.

The initial statement did not identify any of the people killed in the crash. The accident continues to be investigated.

The 6-foot-6 Frayer missed all of the 2019-20 season because of academic issues but was given his senior season back to play this year. He also came back to gain his degree last spring.

His Moreau Catholic High School coach, Frank Knight, tweeted about how proud he was of Frayer for staying at GCU after he lost eligibility his junior season to complete his degree.

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Frayer was instrumental in the Antelopes capturing their first Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship with his 3-point shooting and defense. He made three 3-pointers in a WAC semifinal win over Seattle.

He tweeted on Saturday, following Grand Canyon's 86-74 loss to Iowa in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, "I bleed purple FOREVER!!! Thank you Lope Nation for the last 5 years..it's been nothing less than amazing."

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Frayer averaged 6.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, and two assists his senior season. He played 121 games in his GCU career, averaging eight points and 4.3 rebounds.

GCU said that before the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, assistant coach Ed Schilling, leading chapel service with the basketball players, asked if anyone in the room was ready to give their life to Jesus Christ, and Frayer raised his hand.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday at 7 p.m., at GCU Arena to allow students, friends, and families to grieve privately. It is not open for the media but will be live-streamed on YouTube.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Grand Canyon's Oscar Frayer killed days after NCAA Tournament appearance