By Tim Harfmann
Chris Frazier enjoys coaching the seventh-grade basketball team at Saint Rose of Lima, Rockaway.
But he does it differently than most. He coaches from his wheelchair.
“God gave me the knowledge. Not only did He give me the knowledge, He gave me the articulation and the wisdom to be able to pass that on,” said Frazier.
He was a six-foot-two point guard and a star player at Brooklyn College, then had plans of playing professionally overseas.
In 1987, that all changed.
Frazier was in the backseat of a car. The driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit a fire hydrant.
“It was a lot of anger for myself and a lot of disbelief that I would never walk again,” he explained.
That’s when Frazier devoted himself to coaching.
“A lot of people invested in me at the time, trying to give me aid; and when I would see young people trying to play and wanting to get better, I decided, you know what, I have all this knowledge. Let me help them.”
Today, Frazier’s making a full-court press to encourage young players on and off the court.
“It’s inspiring because some people in a wheelchair get depressed or they don’t want to do anything; but to show that he comes out, it means a lot to me,” said Elijah Ward, who plays for Frazier.
“It shows us how dedicated he is and how much we want to work hard at a win for him,” added Ward’s teammate, Michael Kelly.
That’s what Frazier is doing – inspiring his players from his wheelchair.