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Former Louisville hoops star, NBA veteran Felton Spencer dies

The 55-year-old retired basketball star passed away Sunday, according to family members. The public memorial service will be held on March 18.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former Louisville basketball star Felton Spencer has passed away.

According to family members, Spencer passed away Sunday at UofL Hospital.

“Our family thanks them and everyone who participated in his care. We are proud of all he did on the court and in his personal life. He was a kind, gentle giant whose physical presence will be sorely missed. While we are heartbroken, we are comforted by your thoughts and prayers,” Tammy Pollock, a family member shared on social media.

Spencer was an Eastern High School basketball standout and played for Denny Crum at the University of Louisville.

During his tenure at UofL, Spencer posted a field goal percentage of 62.8 which is still the highest in the history of college basketball.

Spencer would go on to be the sixth overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and stints with the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks before retiring in 2002.

He would return to Louisville and become active in his community.

Basketball remained in his DNA as he took on assistant coaching jobs with Spalding University and most recently, Bellarmine.

Credit: Louisville Athletics
Felton Spencer

Spencer’s fellow teammate and current UofL coach Kenny Payne reacted to news of his death.

“My heart is broken today hearing about my brother Felton. My love and prayers go out to Momma Betty, his sisters and brother Mac. All Cardinals please put his family in our prayers,” he said in a statement.

James "Boo" Brewer who also played alongside Spencer for two years while at Louisville shared what he remembered most about him.

"Because when he walked in a room he lit up the whole room. You knew that Felton was someone who - he was special. Not only was he a great basketball player but he was a great human being. He loved Louisville, he loved his Louisville Cardinals." 

UofL said they were “heartbroken” and said their “thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.”

Spencer was 55-years-old.

The public memorial service will be held at Southeast Christian Church, located at 920 Blankenbaker Parkway, on Saturday, March 18. Visitation will start at 10:00 a.m. followed by a celebration of Felton’s life at 12:00 p.m.

To view a livestream of the service, please click here.

The family requests that contributions in Felton’s memory be made through Wayside Christian Mission or by Southeast Christian Church.

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