Just 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 vehicle accident near Lodi, California, the school's athletics department said Thursday.
Frayer, 23, his older sister Andrea Moore, and a friend died in the crash, the Antelopes' athletics department said. The third person was not identified yet by the San Joaquin County Coroner's Office, according to the athletics department.
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.
After the game, Frayer tweeted, "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"
His dad died in a car accident
A redshirt senior from Oakland, California, Frayer was the son of Oscar Frayer and Bionca Sparrow. The elder Oscar Frayer died in a car accident when young Oscar was 7, according to a story on the athletics department website.
Frayer graduated from Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, California. After logging a career-high 30 starts as a junior, Frayer was academically ineligible in the 2019-2020 season. But he had the opportunity to return for the Lopes to play one final season, starting 24 games, and graduating with a degree in communications. He was to walk at commencement next month.
"We love O," Grand Canyon 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."
Frayer averaged 6.6 points per game this season and 8 points per game in his collegiate career.
"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," the university said in a statement. "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."
GCU teammates react to Frayer's death
"Man, I'm at a loss for words and just in shock. Just watched you play a couple days ago and now you're gone. You were one-of-a-kind and one of the most upbeat and energetic people I've ever been around. Could put a smile on anyone's face. Love you, O," senior guard Casey Benson tweeted.
"I never thought the tournament would have been my last days with you brother. U was rockin with me right or wrong no matter the situation. I'll never forget all them talks we had bro. I just wish u would pick up the phone gang," redshirt senior guard Mikey Dixon posted on Instagram.
"Someone who been a big brother to me for the whole past year. Someone who is truly one of my brothers and someone I consider family. Fly high O, your name will not be forgotten," freshman guard Liam Lloyd tweeted.
"The memories that you have created for everyone on this team are ones that we will all carry so close to our hearts. The impact you had... I don't even think you realized. The way you spoke; The way you embodied brotherhood, family; and the way you chased the faith; it had shined into everyone's heart," redshirt sophomore forward Gabe McGlothan posted on Instagram.
"Life is so precious... one of my all time favourite teammates. Love you O," redshirt senior guard Gerard Martin tweeted.
"You believed in me in a way that i never believed in myself. You looked over me when i was the new kid on the block in high school and in college. Your loyalty was unmatched and never will be replicated. You were a hometown hero, defeating the odds and making a name for yourself," sophomore guard Damari Milstead posted on Instagram.
"Till we meet again O, love you family," sophomore forward Bryce Okpoh said on Instagram.
"4!! Love you brotha. This one killin me," redshirt senior guard DeWayne Russell tweeted.
"I will never forget how far you've come as a person and to help your brothers with anything and be the big brother that we all needed, forever in our hearts. Fly high brother Love you," junior guard Rashad Smith posted on Instagram.
CNN Wire contributed to this report.