July 6th, 2011
Spalding Adds Louisville Great To Staff
Former Cardinal Spencer hired as assistant basketball coach
More than 3,300 points, over 3,400 rebounds, and more than 525 blocks; all done in the NBA. This experience is what Spalding University Head Coach Kevin Gray added to the men’s basketball staff this week when he hired Louisville native, Felton Spencer as his assistant coach this week.
Spencer, a product of Eastern High School and a standout basketball player at the University of Louisville (1986-1990) joins the Spalding staff after various coaching positions around the city. The Spalding basketball team recently finished a stellar season ending with a 3rd place finish at the USCAA National Championships.
Gray and Athletic Director Roger Burkman believe that Spencer is the right fit to help the program take the next step.
“I was looking for someone that was a great person,” states Gray, “I wanted a coach that brings different experiences to the program and that could work with our student athletes both on the court and in their daily lives”.
After graduating from the University of Louisville, Spencer became the 6th overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft being selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Spencer made his debut on November 2, 1990 and spent 3 solid years with the Minnesota franchise. After the conclusion of the 1993 season, the Utah Jazz traded for Spencer to compliment the likes of Karl Malone.
Despite fighting off injury which plagued most of his 1994-95 season, Spencer spent 3 years in Utah where he started 183 games and averaged over 7 points a contest. Spencer would bounce around the NBA after that landing in Golden State, San Antonio and eventually New York. In 2002, after 12 seasons, Felton Spencer retired from the NBA and returned to Louisville.
The program has seen its share of former great players join the staff in the recent past. Head Coach Kevin Gray himself played at Division I Chattanooga and had a stellar career. Most recently Coach Gray brought his son on staff, who was a two time NAIA All-American. Now with the addition of Felton Spencer the level of success and experience is expected to be a great asset to the players at Spalding.
“I think the players will really like the fact that we have a coach that has played D1 and NBA basketball,” Coach Gray stated. “That type of experience will grab the player’s attention and hopefully they will learn from his successes and what he is trying to teach.”
Although Spencer has never coached at the collegiate level his time under Coach Denny Crum at the University of Louisville was a tremendous learning experience for him and he hopes that translates into the Spalding program.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to be involved with the program and share what I have learned during my career at the University of Louisville and the NBA with the players,” Spencer stated. “I feel that I can help the student athletes at Spalding because I have been through the process as a player and can advise and help guide them as we go through the season.”
Coach Spencer’s primary role on the staff will be to work with the post players. This is where Felton excelled both in college and the NBA and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the group. He will also play an important role in the recruiting process as Coach Gray continues to build championship caliber teams at Spalding University.
When asked how adding Felton to the staff would help recruiting, Coach Gray pointed to Spencer’s character and credibility as the biggest assets.
“Having Felton on board will help the recruiting because he will be able to find top talent but more importantly for us it will give even more credibility to our program in the community. Furthermore, I am simply excited about having a person of Felton’s quality join our staff. The type of guy he is and character he has is a great hire for our program and the University as a whole.”