Felton Spencer, Former Louisville Star and NBA Veteran, Dies at 55

Felton Spencer, Former Louisville Star and NBA Veteran, Dies at 55
Felton Spencer #50 of the New York Knicks stretches out on the court before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis., on Jan. 23, 2001. (Jonathan Daniel/Allsport via Getty Images)

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Felton Spencer, who set Louisville single-season and career records in field goal percentage before playing 12 years in the NBA, has died. He was 55.

Spencer’s sister, Tammy Pollock, posted about his death on Twitter Sunday afternoon and the school confirmed information with the family. No cause of death was given.

Louisville wrote on Twitter that it was “heartbroken” by Spencer’s passing. Former Cardinals teammate and current coach Kenny Payne expressed love and prayers for Spencer’s family on social media.

The 7-foot Louisville native known as “Chief” scored 1,168 points from 1986–1990, including 32 against Tulane on Feb. 27, 1990, that’s tied for eighth all time at the school. Spencer averaged 14.9 points per game as a senior with 188 baskets on 276 attempts (68.1 percent) to establish the Cardinals’ single-season field goal percentage mark. His career percentage record of 62.8 percent (409 of 651 shots) still stands.

Spencer also averaged a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game and was a first team All-Metro Conference selection with teammate LaBradford Smith.

The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Spencer sixth overall in 1990, and he made the NBA all-rookie team while playing three seasons there. He also played with Utah, Orlando, Golden State, San Antonio, and the New York Knicks.

Spencer later worked as an assistant coach at Spalding and Bellarmine universities in Louisville.

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