Oklahoma walk-on James Fraschilla raises money for charity with trick shots

first_img Comments Published on March 27, 2015 at 12:15 am Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Search the name “Fraschilla” on Google and unsurprisingly, the top results show former coach and current ESPN college basketball commentator Fran Fraschilla. Next is his youngest son, Matt, a sophomore on the Harvard basketball team.But search the same name on YouTube and the results differ. The top results show a different son, James, and his trick shot videos benefitting charity.“I wanted to make sure I made a name for myself over the last four years and I’m pretty happy I was able to do that,” said James Fraschilla, a walk-on senior at Oklahoma.Fraschilla’s series of four videos helped raised thousands of dollars for Hayden’s Hope, an organization benefitting pediatric organ donation, founded by ESPN anchor Dari Nowkhah. Fraschilla released the fourth video, which he said will be his last, last week. His videos now total almost 190,000 views and feature cameos from a variety of ESPN and other sports personalities.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Sooner guard — who has only played 13 minutes this year — will take his trick shot talents to the Carrier Dome on Friday night when No. 3 seed Oklahoma (24-10, 12-6 Big 12) faces seventh-seeded Michigan State (25-11, 12-6 Big Ten) at 10:07 in a Sweet 16 matchup.“If you want to be good at something, at basketball, you have to live in the gym and he’s always had that mentality,” Fran Fraschilla said. “He’s just taken it a little step further and turned it into some entertainment value that ultimately ends up being for an incredible cause.”The consensus top shot from Fraschilla is his “ricochet shot” from Volume III. Fraschilla is seen standing near half court of the Oklahoma practice facility with two balls in his hands and his back to the basket.He tosses one high into the air over his head with one hand before launching the second with both hands, hitting the first ball and knocking it into the hoop.“I can’t conceive of very many people on the entire planet that A, have the creativity to think of the shot and B, to pull it off,” Fran Fraschilla said.Los Angeles Clippers star point guard Chris Paul is also a fan. Fraschilla worked at Paul’s camp last summer and every time he tried to talk to his favorite player about basketball, Paul would ask about the trick shots. He even shared Fraschilla’s videos in a Clippers group chat.Fraschilla and his teammates tracked donations to Hayden’s Hope after the third video came out and found that it produced a $4,000 spike in donations in the first three weeks.“That was probably what was most special to me, was that it was not like I’m trying to make a difference but that this video was actually making a difference,” Fraschilla said. “That was really cool to see.”The shot immediately preceding the ricochet shot tells viewers it was made in Titanyen, Haiti, where Fraschilla goes on a yearly mission trip with other Oklahoma athletes, called Sooners4Haiti.He set out to film that shot, in which he banks the ball off a low-hanging bar into a hoop, with the hope people would ask him why he was in Haiti. When they do, he can spread awareness about a different cause.“James is a young guy that’s got a good idea there and has a passion for raising funds for charity, which is great,” OU head coach Lon Kruger said. “And no, it doesn’t distract from James’ practice time at all.”Fraschilla’s first trick shot video came in high school when his brother filmed him summersaulting off a diving board into a pool and simultaneously firing a ball into the basket at the other end of the pool. It made SportsCenter a few days later.While his famous dad may have helped him then, Fraschilla built his own network of basketball connections, leading to cameos from ESPN personalities Jay Bilas, Brent Musburger and Nowkhah in the videos.“Everywhere we go together, they always want to talk about his dad or fans are calling his dad’s name,” said OU forward Ryan Spangler, Fraschilla’s former roommate. “I think it’s big for him to create his own name and he’s done that by doing the videos.”Fraschilla said he likely won’t be able to showcase his special talent in Syracuse this weekend. The Carrier Dome doesn’t have the same walls and beams that he often relies on that have helped make him a YouTube sensation.But even if he won’t get the chance to show off on one of college basketball’s most iconic venues, what he’s already done speaks for itself.Fraschilla makes sure to point out that the videos aren’t made in one take, though Spangler said most of the shots take less than a half hour to complete.Still, it seems odd that Fraschilla rarely reacts after draining a seated, full-court, over-the-head shot.“I ain’t going to let him lie to you,” Spangler said, “he goes crazy. He just hides it for the first five seconds on camera and then when the camera switches off, he goes crazy.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *