Rodney McGruder was sitting on his couch watching TV on a late March night when his phone rang with a call from an unknown number.
He answered, and on the other end of the line was Chester Frazier, who played for Bruce Weber at Illinois. At the time, Frazier was playing overseas for the S. Oliver Baskets, a professional team in Germany.
“It wasn’t really weird because one of my good friends is good friends with Chester, so he reached out to me and said my friend Chester Frazier is going to be giving you a call,” McGruder said. “I said OK, gave him my number. I was cool with it and I knew it was coming from Coach (Weber).”
Weber was a strong candidate for the Kansas State head-coaching job at the time. So at 3 a.m. German time, Weber called Frazier, waking him from his sleep to see if he could get a hold of the Wildcats’ star player.
“My phone rang and it was Coach Weber,” Frazier recalled. “‘I was like, ‘Coach, what are you doing? It’s 3 in the morning.’ (He said) ‘Chester, you’ve got to call Rodney.’ I said ‘all right man, what’s going on?’ He’s like ‘well I may get the Kansas State job and I need you to see what’s going on with Rodney, he’s their best player.”
So Frazier called a friend from DC Assault, where the K-State wing played AAU basketball in high school and