California men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin started off his phone conversation with 2016 Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic wing Oscar Frayer in a rather unconventional – but delicious – way.
“He was like, ‘What’s your favorite food?’” Frayer recalled. “Of course, I responded with macaroni and cheese. He was like, ‘That’s what I like!’ Then, we kept on going from there.”
It is, by far, the strangest – and funniest – way that Frayer has started a conversation with a college coach, but after the ice was broken, at just after 5 p.m., Martin quickly got down to business.
“Coach Martin called me, and it was out of the blue. He was actually talking about food, at first, and then he stopped, and said, ‘We, at Cal, we want to offer you a scholarship,’” Frayer said. “I was definitely excited. It was out of nowhere. I was just speechless. It couldn’t have felt better.”
It was unorthodox, to be sure, but that’s part of what draws Frayer to Cal, and this new staff.
“Coach Martin is going to do a lot,” Frayer said. “Also, coach Yanni [Hufnagel] and coach Web (Tracy Webster) – all of the coaches at Cal are great. I feel like coach Martin will bring a lot more things to Cal; not to say that the old coaches were bad, but he’ll bring a lot of things that Cal didn’t have. He brought his Tennessee team to the Sweet 16, and he has talent to work with. He’ll bring different things to Cal, a different way of looking at things, a different way of doing things.”
Frayer – who also got an offer from Montana, thanks to former Bears assistant and current Grizzlies head coach Travis DeCuire -- already had an offer from the old staff, of which DeCuire was a part, but the new staff wanted to see Frayer in action, and not just on a computer screen, before extending the same offer.
“I was just trying to display my toughness and my mental ability with the game. Basically, I wanted to show them how I play,” Frayer said, and he did just that. Unfortunately for the 2016 four-star small forward, his summer was cut short, thanks to a wee bit of miscalculation on a windmill dunk in practice.
“I broke my arm two days before Peach Jam,” Frayer said. “I was actually working out, and I went up and I windmilled, and I hit my forearm on the rim.”
That whiff was a costly one, as he’s now been out of action for a week and a half, and will be out for another five weeks.
At least, if there’s any down time in basketball, the end of summer is it. That’s still little consolation for Frayer, who’s Oakland Soldiers 17U team – yes, he’s playing up for the second year in a row – got to the Elite Eight at the Peach Jam.
“It was a good experience, though, I can say that,” Frayer said of playing his second year with the top Soldiers team, along with fellow Cal target Ivan Rabb.
Mac & Cheese, a Broken Arm and a Cal Offer
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