Celebration of life held for Louisville legend Felton Spencer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A public memorial service was held on Saturday to celebrate the life of the Louisville basketball legend Felton Spencer.
Spencer was an all-state basketball player at Eastern High School in Middletown, Kentucky, leading the team to the KHSAA state tournament in Lexington.
He attended University of Louisville where he played college basketball and became the all-time field goal percentage leader at 62.8%.
As a senior at UofL, Spencer averaged 14.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, had 69 blocked shots and a 68.1% field goal percentage.
Spencer graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science in Communications.
He was the overall sixth pick in the NBA Draft in 1990 by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and played for the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and the New York Knicks before retiring in 2002.
For those that really knew him he wasn’t a basketball player, to them he was the gentle giant they called “Nuney”.
Standing at over 7 feet tall, Spencer Jr. was always perceived as larger than life, especially on the basketball court.
His family said life was bigger than bouncing a ball for him.
“He liked basketball but he didn’t love it. It wasn’t his first passion. It quite frankly wasn’t,” Felton’s youngest sister Tammy Pollock said. “His first passion was making other people happy and helping kids and the less fortunate.”
His life after basketball was proof of that. He worked for JCPS as a teacher, he coached and ran camps for kids and was always looking to make others happy.
Something his former teammate Derwin Webb can attest to.
“He made us feel special. Any time we were in the room he’d make you feel like you were the most important person in the world to him,” Webb said. “He’d listen to you and put himself last in all situations to make sure that you were taken care of.”
While Webb said he enjoyed playing with Spencer, what he’ll miss the most is the bond they formed off the hardwood.
“Just conversations about life. Talking about things with his family, talking about things with his sons. My sons. How we can make the world a better place,” Webb said. “Those deep conversations that you don’t just have with a regular basketball player because he was much bigger than that.”
Just when you thought he couldn’t get any bigger, his sister Tammy shares the giant shadow of support he had over their family.
“One of his famous phrases was I got you. I got you. It was about showing up, it was about being loyal and it was about being supportive,” Pollock said.
That mindset is one Pollock said she now looks to mimic.
She hopes her sons and anyone looking to reach new heights, follows his pathway to success.
“But what I do hope they take away, is that if you will it and you believe it and you are willing to work hard enough, you can do things that are completely unimaginable,” said Pollock. “And that’s what their Uncle Nuney did”
Spencer is remembered as a loving father with his sons, Evan and Tristan, being two of his proudest accomplishments.
The public memorial service was held at Southeast Christian Church on Saturday, March 18 and Spencer was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery.
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