Oklahoma walk-on James Fraschilla -- son of ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla -- seems like the classic coach's kid. He's clearly spent much of his young life in the gym, and along the way he appears to have picked up the ability to put the ball in the basket from just about anywhere in the gym.
I'm not saying that hyperbolically, either. As Fraschilla's trick-shot video (filmed "when I had some extra time after finals," according to the YouTube link) shows, he really can make it from just about anywhere in the gym. Or on a treadmill. Or in the long-snap position. Or -- well, you'll see:
Of course, we've seen this sort of trick-shot video before, most notably from former Duke star Kyle Singler. But Fraschilla's video is special in its own way. Why? It was made to help raise awareness for Hayden's Hope, the charitable organization founded by ESPN anchor (and Oklahoma alum) Dari Nowkhah and his wife Jenn, who lost their baby Hayden in September after just 39 days.
Hayden Nowkhah was born healthy, but was back in the hospital after just six days when a virus attacked his heart. Hayden couldn't receive a heart transplant in time and his parents made the excruciating decision to take him out of his pain. One can't imagine what that must feel like, the sheer heartbreak of losing a child so young. But the Nowkhahs have pushed forward with positive action anyway. From their website's mission statement:
We have started "Hayden's Hope" to raise awareness for pediatric organ donation. In addition, Hayden's Hope, working in conjunction with the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA), is raising money to cover transplant-related expenses in honor of children awaiting life-saving transplants. Medical bills, travel costs to and from transplant centers, lengthy stays away from home and in many cases, job loss affects transplant families and crushes them financially. COTA families receive 100% of the money raised through Hayden's Hope. It is our hope that Hayden's story inspires others to help children achieve the successful transplants they deserve so that they can live the life they were meant to live.
Good for James Fraschilla for using his unique trick-shot skills to raise awareness for a worthy cause. As you watch Fraschilla execute a perfectly placed bank shot from the 200 level, please also consider making a donation to Hayden's Hope. Tragedies like the one that befell Hayden and the Nowkhahs shouldn't have to happen. Perhaps -- with a little help from you, me, and Fraschilla's trick shots -- someday, they won't.