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 read more

Five takeaways from NXT TakeOver: Phoenix

first_imgNever doubt NXT TakeOver events that continue to be some of the best WWE shows of the year.NXT TakeOver: Phoenix on Saturday night once again delivered with exciting action from a super-hot tag team match to kick off the show all the way to a tense main event for the NXT championship. It’s amazing to see men this big move so quickly and make it look easy. Plus, they work so well together in the ring as a polished tag team, something that has come from working together for so long on the indies to their current run in NXT.Expect War Raiders to have a good, long run as NXT tag champions in what has become another very deep, talented division that includes War Raiders, Mustache Mountain, Street Profits, The Forgotten Sons, and the team of Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan.Brian Fritz can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrianFritz and listen to his Between The Ropes podcast on iTunes. Johnny Gargano and Ricochet arguably had the best match of the night, which is saying something considering the rest of the card and how good it was.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearIn case you missed it, here are the quick results from NXT TakeOver: Phoenix:— War Raiders defeated Undisputed Era to become NXT tag team champions— Matt Riddle got revenge against Kassius Ohno, beating him for the third straight time.— Johnny Gargano won his first NXT title, defeating Ricochet for the North American championship— Shayna Baszler held off Bianca Belair with some help from Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir to retain the NXT women’s championship— Tommaso Ciampa successfully defended the NXT championship against Aleisnter Black Here are five takeaways from the show:1. Tommaso Ciampa is the best NXT champion in the history of the brandNXT has a distinguished list of previous champions that including Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Yet, Ciampa feels like the strongest champion the brand has had to date.Just like previous champions, Ciampa has had fantastic matches during his title reign with Johnny Gargano, Andrade, and this most recent one against Aleister Black to headline NXT TakeOver: Phoenix.Be your own hype man. @ProjectCiampa #NXTChampionship #NXTTakeOver pic.twitter.com/jQckbZdhEL— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 27, 2019However, this championship run means so much more to the “Blackheart” considering the depth of his character and his love of “goldie”, the name he has given to his beloved NXT championship.Plus, there isn’t a feeling that he is headed to the WWE main roster anytime soon as there have been with previous champions. Ciampa fits the best in NXT where he is an awesome sinister character and puppet master, pulling the strings of his former partner-turned-nemesis Johnny Gargano.2. Matt Riddle will have to wait his turn before getting a shot at the NXT championshipRiddle has met all of the high expectations since joining NXT last summer. Despite another decisive win against Kassius Ohno, the former UFC star should have to wait a bit longer before getting a shot at the title.The “Original Bro” is on track to be a massive star with the brand and a future NXT champion. He could be fast-tracked into the title picture but it makes more sense for him to feud with someone else — maybe Adam Cole — before earning a championship match.As for the title picture right now, Velveteen Dream could be next up but the most likely scenario is yet another showdown between Ciampa and Gargano. Even though they have been rather chummy lately — including them posing side-by-side at the end of TakeOver: Phoenix with their respective championship — that could fall apart in a second, especially when Gargano realizes that Ciampa has been playing mind games to ensure that he doesn’t have to face “Johnny Wrestling” again for his NXT championship.3. Velveteen Dream is the brand’s biggest starDream received some of the biggest ovations of the night despite not having a on the show. Fans went wild when he was shown backstage getting out of a limo in a tight red turtleneck sweater and plaid pants with a woman on each arm and again when he was sitting ringside during the event.Immediately after the show went off the air, Dream confronted both Ciampa and Gargano to the delight of the audience. That turned into a pull-apart with Ricochet, Aleister Black, and Adam Cole also getting involved.Things got HEATED between @ProjectCiampa @JohnnyGargano @VelveteenWWE @AdamColePro @WWEAleister & @KingRicochet when #NXTTakeOver went off air! pic.twitter.com/X7cS5iWpC8— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 27, 2019Velveteen Dream has a special quality from his unique fashion sense to his unbridled passion for professional wrestling. He has the “it” factor but the question is how will that be used? Does WWE think it’s time to pull the trigger and put him on the main roster soon or will he remain in NXT a while longer?Don’t be surprised if he makes a surprise appearance in the Royal Rumble match on Sunday night, but the right move with Dream right now would be to keep him in NXT. Let him continue to grow and improve at a slow pace so when he does move up, he has plenty of tools and experience to be a star and remain one. He’s only 23 years old so there’s no need to rush him.4. Bianca Belair has a lot of potentialBelair had a good outing against Shayne Baszler in what was the first big match of her career. The former track star and CrossFit competitor had no wrestling experience before signing with NXT two-and-a-half years ago.It’s obvious that the 29-year-old has come a long way during that time. She’s an athletic freak and has an incredible weapon at her disposal in her long, braided hair that she can use to whip opponents.Belair has plenty of room for improvement but this was a good step forward and she will be one of the featured stars in NXT along with Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shafir, Kairi Sane, Io Shirai and others in what is becoming a deep women’s division.5. War Raiders are absolute freaksNXT TakeOver: Phoenix got off to an exciting start with an elaborate, Viking-style entrance for War Raiders followed by the team tearing down the house against Undisputed Era to win the NXT tag team championship.Both Hanson and Rowe displayed incredible athleticism and agility for their size, easily moving around the ring and many time flying through the air like cruiserweights. The 6’ 1”, 260 lb. Rowe is amazing with his strength and stature but his partner Hanson many times stands out at 6’ 2” and around 350 lb. considering what he does from somersault dives to cartwheels and back spring elbows, all of which he showed off during the match.last_img read more