This article appears in the December 2004 edition of SchoolSports magazine.
Brother Rice senior Bobby Frasor wakes up at 6:15 every morning during the school year. While most kids his age are still fast asleep, Frasor is getting ready to go to work at his office: Brother Rice's gym.
Before he leaves his room every morning, Frasor makes sure to look at a sign on the back of his door that reads "I will …" Just a couple words to most people. But to Frasor, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard, the sign serves as motivation for the day. He finishes the sentence each morning with a goal he sets for himself, like "I will … work hard at shooting today."
"It just puts it in my head that I'm going to work hard today to improve my game," says Frasor, 18, who is rated the nation's No. 5 point guard and No. 23 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.
Frasor, who averaged 13 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game as a junior, arrives at school at 7 a.m. and shoots 250 jumpers before classes start thanks to the help of a machine called "The Gun," a device with a net that attaches to the bottom of the hoop and fires rebounds back to the shooter. After school, he'll lift weights and work on ball-handling drills and game situations.
"I joked that Bobby should take that Gun machine to homecoming because he likes it so much," says Frasor's father, Bob, who played point guard at Wisconsin from 1969-72 and coached at Eisenhower High in Blue Island for 28 years before retiring from coaching to watch Bobby play. "With all the accolades he's received, he's still never satisfied. That's one thing that a coach and a father can be proud of — that he's always working on his game. I've always said that the team's best player should be its hardest worker, and that's certainly true of him."
Frasor's inspiration for working hard came from his sister, Aly, a former volleyball player at Northern Illinois who used to take Bobby with her to the gym as she worked on her game for hours.
"She wasn't the most talented athlete, but just to see her work that hard and get a volleyball scholarship to Northern Illinois was impressive," says Frasor, who has earned his own college scholarship to North Carolina, which he chose over Stanford, Marquette and Michigan State.
Frasor was so impressed by his sister's dedication that he used to go to his father's basketball practices when he was 8 and constantly shoot on the side hoops while catching glimpses of the action on the main court. After practice, he'd challenge some of the players to one-on-one battles, a fruitless campaign until Frasor hit middle school and started winning those matchups.
It was around that time that Brother Rice head coach Pat Richardson first noticed Frasor, who attended one of Richardson's camps when he was in the sixth grade.
"Knowing his father was such a great player and seeing how Bobby evolved when he was a sixth-grader, he stood out," says Richardson, who has guided the Crusaders to seven Chicago Catholic League titles and enters his 16th season at Brother Rice with a record of 288-132. "He was at least a year ahead of these kids he was playing. You just knew he was going to be special."
A few years later, Frasor got to show off just how special he was during his sophomore season, when Richardson penciled him in as the Crusaders' starting point guard.
Frasor didn't disappoint, using his tremendous all-around skills to average 10 points, 5.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He guided Brother Rice to a 23-8 record and was particularly impressive in the Crusaders' run to the United Center I Supersectional, where they eventually lost to Von Steuben.
"Bobby was constantly leading the fast break, driving and scoring," says Richardson. "He looked like a senior. To have a sophomore play under that pressure and enjoy and thrive under it was incredible. Right then, I knew he was going to be a Division I player."
Part of Frasor's ability to play under pressure is drawn from the fan support of the Brother Rice basketball team. Known as the "Crusader Crazies," the fans pack the gym for every home game, making a regular-season game feel like a playoff contest.
"Everything is kind of magnified when you have that fan support," says Richardson.
Of course, it also helps to have tremendous talent when performing under pressure — and Frasor certainly has that. He keeps defenses honest with his 3-point range and his ability to penetrate and dish, and he runs the team like he was born to play the point.
With all his skills, you'd expect Frasor's scoring numbers to be higher. But the only numbers Frasor cares about are in the win column. And if that means sacrificing stats, so be it.
"I could shoot more if I wanted to, but I've always prided myself on distributing the ball," says Frasor, who enters his senior season with 316 career assists and is likely to break the school record of 396 assists. "I think being unselfish defines who I am as a player. People are going to criticize me if I don't put up 30 a night. But I don't worry about that."
According to Richardson, Frasor's unselfish play combined with his skills led North Carolina head coach Roy Williams to compare Frasor to Chicago Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich, who played for Williams at Kansas. Frasor appreciates the comparison but knows he still has a long way to go to reach that level.
"It's definitely nice," says Frasor. "He's probably one of my favorite players to watch. But I don't know if you can say that about me right now because I'm so young and he's such a great player. Hopefully I can get to that point."
Until then, Frasor will … keep working.