Frazier attended Atlanta's David Tobias Howard High School. He quarterbacked the football team and played catcher on the baseball team. He learned basketball on a rutted and dirt playground, the only facility available at his all-black school in the racially segregated South of the 1950s. After Howard, Frazier attended Southern Illinois University. Although he was offered other scholarships for his football skills, Frazier accepted a basketball offer from Southern Illinois University, saying that "there were no black quarterbacks, so I played basketball."
Frazier became one of the premier collegiate basketball players in the country. He was named a Division II All-American in 1964 and 1965. As a sophomore in 1965, Frazier led SIU to the NCAA Division II Tournament, only to lose in the finals to Jerry Sloan and the Evansville Purple Aces. 85-82 in overtime. In 1966, he was academically ineligible for basketball.
SIU moved up from Division II to Division I in 1967, and Frazier and SIU won the National Invitation Tournament, beating Marquette University 71-56 in the final, in the last college basketball game played at the old Madison Square Garden in New York. Frazier was named Most Valuable Player of the 1967 tournament.
Frazier was the first-round selection of the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the 1967 draft and was named to the league’s All-Rookie team. In 1969–70, his third season in the league, he made his first of seven All-Star appearances, finishing the season with an average of nearly 21 points per game, 8.2 assists, and 6 rebounds. That season, Frazier helped the Knicks win their first NBA title, scoring 36 points and making 19 assists in the decisive seventh game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks won a second NBA title in 1973, with Frazier averaging 21.1 points, 5.9 assists, and 7.3 rebounds per game. He played with the Knicks through the 1976–77 season and finished his 13-year professional career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing 51 games in 1977–78 and 15 more games in parts of his final two seasons.
Frazier scored 15,581 points in his NBA career, averaging 18.9 points per game. He also had more than 5,000 assists and nearly that many rebounds, averaging about 6 of each per game. He was selected for the league’s All-Defensive team seven times. His autobiography, written with Joe Jares, was titled Clyde (1970), which was also the nickname Knicks coach Red Holtzman gave him, from the movie Bonnie and Clyde.
"The star player must slay his ego and learn teamwork and communication skills before he can achieve the ultimate in sport."
"When a player keeps a calm demeanor on the court, it's easier for his ability to shine. The best response to an opposing player's physical or psychological tactics is to keep cool and come right back at him with the force of your game, not your fists. Revenge is always sweeter if your team wins the game."
"The fans have always supported me; bought my books, attended my camps and wore my sneakers. I will always have a special relationship with the fans."
"I'm not a guy who did drugs or drank alcohol. I had a good work ethic and gave back to the community."
"I took the game seriously. It was my profession. My teammates also took losing hard. We would all sit in the locker room after losing a big game and talk about how we could have done something differently to change the outcome."
Frazier is a member of the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha.
He was known for his sartorial flamboyance and for his cool demeanour on the court. Frazier is also known for his iconic fashion sense and unique style.
Physical Characteristics: He is 6 ft 4 in (1.9 m) tall and is weighing some 200 lb (91 kg).
Walter lives with his long-term girfriend, Patricia James. He is the father of a son referred to both as Walt Jr. and, later, Walt III.