CALABASAS (CBS) — With every pass, shot and rebound, the Calabasas Coyotes are playing to win and praying for one of their own.
“He was the offense. He was the defense. He was conditioning. He was inspiration,” Calabasas guard Spencer Levy told CBS2’s Rachel Kim.
On Friday night, Calabasas High took on Agoura Hills in what’s been a bittersweet season. Back in August, their assistant coach, 28-year-old Joseph Frazier, was struck by a hit-and-run driver and has been in a coma ever since.
To his players, Frazier is a mentor and motivator.
“Whenever I wasn’t playing well, whenever I was playing well, he was always keeping me motivated,” said Calabasas forward Joshua Cohan.
“We’ve had games when we go into halftime and we might be down a couple of points or it might be a close game, and Joe’s there pushing us,” Levy added.
Frazier played at Cal State Northridge and had a brief, professional career overseas before coming to Calabasas. He quickly became a beloved coach.
This season is dedicated to him. On the court, the team wears his initials and number on their jerseys.
“We want to remember Joe and play for him and play in a way that would make him proud,” said Calabasas head coach Jon Palarz.
So far, no arrests have been made in connection with the hit-and-run crash on Aug. 25. Witnesses told police that the driver of a light-colored SUV — possibly a Mitsubishi Montero — ran a red light before hitting Frazier near Ventura Boulevard and Wilbur Avenue in Tarzana.
Anyone with information is asked to call authorities.