Oklahoma basketball: The story behind James Fraschilla's trick shot videos

by Ryan Aber Published: January 21, 2014

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.


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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