Los Angeles Preps: Joe Frazier
March, 8, 2012
By Sean Ceglinsky | ESPNLosAngeles.com
CALABASAS -- They play for him.
His unwavering spirit is motivation.
His passion for the game carries on.
His recovery remains a possibility.
The Calabasas High School boys' basketball team dedicated its season to fallen assistant coach Joe Frazier, who has been in coma since the summer after he was involved in a motorcycle accident while wearing a helmet and being struck by a hit-and-run driver.
What a memorable season it has been.
The Coyotes secured the first Southern Section championship in the school's 37-year history last week in honor of Frazier with a 69-39 Division 3-AA victory over South Torrance. Believe it or not, they are not quite finished.
Sean Ceglinsky for ESPNLA.comCalabasas players from left, Spencer Levy, Joshua Cohan, Holden Israel and Zac Hepps stand with a cutout of assistant coach Joe Frazier, who is in a coma after a motorcycle accident last summer.
Playing with heavy hearts, Calabasas took a step in the right direction toward acquiring another ring for Frazier with Wednesday's 86-56 victory over Bakersfield Frontier in a Division III first-round playoff game of the Southern California Regionals.
“Joe is a great assistant to me, a great coach to the kids and a great friend to everyone, there was no way we were going to let him down,'' Coyotes coach Jon Palarz said. “When the accident happened, it hit home hard. Joe has been coaching with us at Calabasas for almost two years, but he was embraced right away and is loved by so many people.''
Similar to how they have done so many times in the past, the Coyotes (28-3) plan to commemorate Frazier again by wearing a patch with the initials JF on their left shoulders during Saturday's second-round game at home against Bellflower St. John Bosco.
“To have something so inspirational pushing us the whole way to accomplish our goal of winning a title and championship ring for our coach Joe Frazier, it's something that I don't think I'll never forget for the rest of my life,'' senior Joshua Cohan said.
Frazier was leaving campus on Aug. 25, the first week of school, and heading home when his life suddenly changed.
According to LAPD reports, he was struck near the intersection of Ventura Boulevard and Wilbur Avenue in Tarzana, located in the San Fernando Valley. Frazier suffered a head injury, was rushed to Northridge Hospital Medical Center and underwent emergency surgery. The 28-year old was listed in critical condition by a hospital spokeswoman at the time.
The hit-and-run driver has not been identified.