University of Louisville legend and 12-year NBA veteran center Felton Spencer had died at 55 years old.
Louisville confirmed Spencer’s death with a memorial post.
“We’re heartbroken by the passing of UofL great Felton Spencer. Spencer was the Cardinals’ all-time leader in career field goal percentage, the 6th overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft, & a beloved member of the Louisville community. Our thoughts & prayers are with his loved ones,” the school’s basketball Twitter page posted.
Spencer grew up in Louisville, where he was a standout high school basketball player. He ended up going to his hometown university, where he played four full seasons with the Cardinals.
Spencer came off the bench for Louisville in his first three seasons, but he exploded in a starting role during his senior year. Spencer averaged 14.9 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 68.1% from the field.
For his career, Spencer shot 62.8% from the field, which Louisville says remains a school record.
Spencer’s efforts in college led the Minnesota Timberwolves to take him sixth overall in the 1990 NBA Draft. However, Spencer would be a journeyman throughout his 12 years in the league.
He spent three seasons with the Timberwolves (213 games), Utah Jazz (184 games) and Golden State Warriors (166 games), two seasons with the New York Knicks (50 games) and short stints with the Orlando Magic (just one game) and San Antonio Spurs.
Spencer’s best time in the league was with the Jazz, where he started all but one of his 184 games. He averaged 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds over 23.8 minutes per game.
Spencer also saw seven series of playoff basketball in his career, most of them coming with the Jazz. He went to the conference finals twice in the West, but was never able to reach the finals.
After his playing days, Spencer went on to be the assistant coach for Spalding University in 2011. He would later coach for Bellarmine University in Louisville as an assistant.