Where Are They Know: Neil Fryer’s Settling Into Life After Basketball

I caught up with Neil Fryer recently. The former Central Kitsap basketball star played professionally in Costa Rica after finishing up his senior year at Eastern Oregon a year ago.
He’s now in Montana, where his family moved. His dad, Tim Fryer, coached boys basketball at Central Kitsap and was a golf pro at Gold Mountain for a while. Tim and his wife, Candy, now live in Miles City. Neil Fryer was living in Billings when I talked to him, but was preparing to move to Helena, where he was excited about going to work as an accountant.
The high-flying 6-foot-4 guard/forward could have gone back to Costa Rica or pursued other pro basketball opportunities overseas, but Fryer said it was time to get on with his life.
“It went well,” he said of playing overseas. “I had a good time. … I wasn’t tired of basketball per se, but I was ready to experience different things. It’s a good time to catch up on what I’ve missed out on. I’ve been spending as much time with my family as I can and just trying to get established.”
Fryer said the 10-team semi-pro league in Costa Rica was “a bigger deal” than he thought it would be.
Fryer helped the Mountaineers, from La Grande, Ore., advance to the Sweet 16 in 2009 and to the elite eight at the NAIA national tournament in 2008 and 2009.
His college coach, Ryan Looney, is now the head coach at Seattle Pacific. Fryer was recruited to Eastern Oregon by then-assistant Isaac Williams, a Central Kitsap grad who played at Olympic College and Eastern. Williams replaced Looney as the head coach of the Mountaineers.
“He’s a great guy,” Fryer said of Williams. “He knows basketball as well as anybody I’ve met as far as X’s and
O’s. … As long as he keeps pulling pepole from CK he’ll keep winning.”
Cody Thurmond, a freshman from CK, is currently on the Mountaineers’ roster and guard J.R. Gordon, who played with Fryer at CK, is red-shirting after transferring from Lewis-Clark State.
Eastern Oregon traveled to Costa Rica during Fyrer’s junior season, which is the connection on how he ended up there.
One of four Americans in the league, he signed with Coopenae Liceo de Costa Rica in May and left in July. Liceo reached the league finals and was one of two premier clubs in the league.
“They took care of me pretty good,” Fryer said when asked about the pay. “I couldn’t really complain.”
His sister, Lindsey Fryer, a standout middle blocker in volleyball, recently graduated from Concordia College in Portland, Ore. She also attended Central Kitsap High School.

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