Bobby Frasor likes to keep warmups in practice light. Music blasting, different stations going, guys moving. Everybody kind of does their own thing – having fun, joking around, laughing.
When people enjoy practice, you get more out of them, Frasor thinks.
“We’re big on EDM (electronic dance music). I don’t know if our guys like it but for me in my head, it’s upbeat. It puts some life into the gym,” Frasor says. “One time I had the guys choose and it was around Christmas time. So, a kid chooses Christmas music to warm up. It was literally the worst practice we’d had. So, I haven’t given them the option since.”
A Bobby Frasor practice is a lot like you’d expect. So is a Bobby Frasor season. In his second year coaching his alma mater in Chicago, Brother Rice won the Catholic League South title, a regional championship and finished with a 25-6 record. He was named the Daily Southtown 2016-17 Boys Basketball Coach of the Year last week.
“I try to have fun with the guys,” Frasor says. “Even on the sidelines, I’m pretty cool. I don’t go crazy on refs. I don’t go crazy on players. I like to talk to them; not down to them.”
Five years ago Frasor was on track to become a college coach. He was assistant video coordinator at Carolina in 2012. A year later, he followed Jerod Haase to UAB to be director of basketball operations for the Blazers.
But after two years, Frasor started to second guess his path. He loved working for Haase, whom he calls one of the best bosses in any industry, but as director of basketball operations, Frasor wasn’t coaching. His job was scheduling practices, booking flights, checking classes, setting up dorms. Business stuff.
“I love basketball but I wasn’t allowed on the court. So, I’m not coaching. I’m not interacting. I’m not working any guys out,” Frasor says. “I dunno, maybe I wasn’t patient enough. I know you have to earn your stripes at the college level for sure and that’s what I was doing but I just had second thoughts about it.”
Frasor moved back to North Carolina, where he worked in commercial real estate before he heard about the vacancy at Brother Rice.
“Now I’m actually having my fingerprints on a program,” Frasor says. “I think at the high school level you can have a much bigger impact on a kid’s life, a kid’s career, than at the college level. These kids are so impressionable.”
Like his college coach Roy Williams, Frasor is already a pro at managing people. His teams have great chemistry. He makes a point to say everybody’s name at least once in practice. It’s an all-boys school and he understands the guys on his team. Everyone is comfortable in their own skin. They all like and kid each other.
Here’s an example:
Recently, one of Frasor’s players, Mike Shepski, was interviewed by a local news channel for a story on his coach. During the interview, Shepski referenced Frasor bringing brownies after road wins his first year – stealing an opponent’s brownies, just like Coach Williams. Only Shepski offered no backstory for the motivational tool, just that coach baked brownies, which Frasor found hilarious.
“I don’t know why Mike said that,” Frasor joked. “So obviously, I took that from Coach Williams. I didn’t do it this year but it’s still hysterical that that’s what he said on the interview. Without context, too, it seems super creepy. ‘Coach makes us brownies.’ It’s like, ‘what?’”
As for the Xs and Os, Frasor’s teams couldn’t be any different than Carolina. Brother Rice has a history of producing shooters and the Crusaders actually shot more threes than twos this season.
“If I had 6-10 Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Tyler Hansbrough, I’d throw the ball inside every possession, too,” Frasor says. “But we’re definitely a shooting school. Tough, man-to-man defensive team, plays hard, has fun sharing the basketball. I think that’s a fun way to play, a fun way to watch basketball.”
Frasor has adjusted nicely to life at his alma mater. Former teachers are now colleagues (Frasor is the admissions director). No more battles with Julius Hodge, Frasor is now on Twitter lobbying for votes for the Brother Rice student section in a Battle of the Fans contest.
Frasor loves what he’s doing and has been able to share it with former teammates. In year one, Frasor welcomed Hansbrough and Marvin Williams to practice. This year, Danny Green visited when the Spurs played the Bulls.
“He’s absolutely one of the best teammates I’ve ever been around. The nicest guy,” Frasor says of Green. “He was phenomenal speaking with the team … Just his whole (story) is absolutely amazing for our guys to hear.”
Twelve years ago this month, Frasor and Green played together in the Roundball Classic in Chicago. Now, one is an NBA star and the other a successful coach.
“We’re 30 years old now,” Frasor says. “Our 10-year anniversary should be coming up here soon, which is wild to think about.”