Grand Canyon basketball player Oscar Frayer died early Tuesday morning in a car accident just three days after appearing in his first career NCAA Tournament with the Antelopes. He was 23 years old.

The car accident was reported at 2:30 a.m., according to authorities. Frayer and two other passengers were traveling on I-5 SB south of Walnut Grove Rd. when their vehicle collided with the rear of a California Highway Patrol car that was on the side of the road assisting a disabled tractor-trailer. Upon the collision, their vehicle continued into a tree and caught fire. All three passengers were pronounced dead at the scene.

The CHP officers sustained serious injuries after their patrol vehicle was sent into a dirt embankment in the accident, but they are expected to survive.

"We love O," Grand Canyon coach Bryce Drew said in a release. "He was the heartbeat of our team with his vibrant, energetic personality. I cannot put into words the hurt and sadness we all feel, but we know he is in heaven and that gives us great joy to know we will be together again."

On Saturday, Frayer, a senior, tied a season-high with five assists and three blocks while adding eight points and three rebounds. His big day was highlighted by a huge swat on Iowa's Connor McCaffery as he climbed the ladder to complete a remarkable chasedown block.

Frayer originally committed to Cal as a high school recruit but later decommitted and signed with Grand Canyon's program under Dan Majerle in 2016. His high-flying bounce earned him considerable hype as a top-200 recruit and he immediately produced with the Lopes, averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as a true freshman on a team that won 22 games.

After starting a career-high 30 games as a junior in 2018-19, Frayer in 2019-20 was deemed ineligible to compete. Without Frayer and TCU transfer Jaylen Fisher, Majerle went 13-17 and was subsequently fired. But Frayer returned this season under new coach Bryce Drew on a mission to "make up for it," he said last fall, adding that he did not want to give up on his support system that believed in him. It resulted in him starting all 24 games in the 2020-2021 season while helping guide the team to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance at the Division I level.