NORMAN — A few seconds into James Fraschilla's latest YouTube video, ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas pops up on screen.
“I have scoured the nation — no, the world — for the greatest trick-shot artist you will ever see,” Bilas deadpans. “I've seen Kyle Singler getting buckets; I've seen the guys from Gonzaga thinking they know how to do trick shots and I've found one guy — one above all others — that's the greatest trick-shot artist of all time and that's James Fraschilla of Oklahoma.”
Fraschilla, a junior walk-on guard, posted his third trick-shot video Monday afternoon, getting help from not only Bilas — his father's ESPN colleague — but also teammate Ryan Spangler and Sooner quarterback Trevor Knight and his brother Connor.
The videos were born out of boredom two seasons ago.
“It was right after finals and we didn't get to go home for break and I was just bored,” Fraschilla said. “All we do is practice and that's it. So I started doing it for fun and I kind of found the Hayden's Hope thing and attached that to it.”
Hayden's Hope, which is promoted at the beginning and end of Fraschilla's video, ties into both Oklahoma and ESPN, where James' father Fran is a college basketball analyst.
The organization was started by OU graduate and current ESPNU anchor Dari Nowkhah and his wife, Jenn, in honor of their son, Hayden. Hayden Nowkhah contracted a virus in the first week of his life that attacked his heart. He was at the top of the transplant list but died when he was 39 days old.
The organization is dedicated to raising awareness for pediatric organ donation and raises money along with the Children's Organ Transplant Association to cover transplant-related expenses for families whose children are undergoing or awaiting transplants.
In a little more than 24 hours after being posted, Fraschilla's latest video had more than 24,500 views. His first video has more than 60,000 views and his second received more than 27,000.
“I was real surprised just because I'd never done anything like that before,” Fraschilla said of the initial success of his video. “But it was fun and I was glad it blew up and gave a little exposure to Hayden's Hope.”
Sooners coach Lon Kruger gets a kick out of the videos.
“James is great,” Kruger said. “He loves what he's doing and he's got a passion for it.
“I was kind of awed by some of the shots. He has fun with it so it's great.”
Fraschilla thinks Trevor Knight's appearance will help him reach even more people.
In the video, Knight's Sugar Bowl performance is highlighted before he throws a football from one baseline into the opposite basket at Lloyd Noble Center. He also hits one from the concourse of the gym.
The clip was shot early last week after Knight returned to Norman following the break.
“I'm hoping Trevor's newfound fame — people knew him before but after that Sugar Bowl performance, I'm hoping that it helps this blow up,” Fraschilla said.
Sometimes the takes are quick.
The Knight shots — Connor also hit a shot from the concourse — took about 30 minutes.
Landry Jones' appearance last year took even less. Jones threw a football from one free-throw line into the basket on the other end of the practice gym after just a few throws.
“We did it at halftime of a women's game because he was here watching Whitney (Hand, Jones' wife),” Fraschilla said “He hit the shot in two or three minutes. He was hitting the rim and the backboard every time so he kind of knew what he was doing.”
Sometimes the shots take a lot longer.
It took Fraschilla's old roommate, Sooners backup kicker Eric Hosek, quite a bit of time to kick a football through the net in the second video. So did a shot in the first video where Fraschilla hits a shot from behind while sitting in a golf cart.
Last week, he tried a shot off the football stadium that had to be scrapped.
He gets ideas from Singler and the Gonzaga players who do similar videos.
“It's mostly spontaneous,” Fraschilla said. “I'll pick other guys' brains if they have any ideas and we'll kind of see what I can do. We've just got to kind of get creative after a while.”
Perhaps the toughest shot in the latest video involves Fraschilla throwing one ball over his head near the 3-point line and using another ball to knock the first through the net.
Fraschilla might be happiest with Bilas' contribution.
“I texted him a couple weeks ago before he called out game and he thought it sounded like a good idea,” Fraschilla said. “He's hilarious. He's a really funny guy so I kind of gave him an idea of what to say but he kind of just did the Jay Bilas thing and was hilarious.”