How did Louisville Hoops Legend Felton Spencer Die at 55?
While many fans are trying to find out former Minnesota Timberwolves top pick Felton Spencer’s cause of death, sources confirmed that he died on Sunday (March 12, 2023) at the age of 55.
Felton LaFrance Spencer was born on January 5, 1968, in Louisville, Kentucky. He was drafted with the No. 6 pick in the 1990 NBA Draft and averaged 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in his career.
He was known as a professional basketball player who was a center for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, and New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association from 1990 to 2002.
Spencer played three seasons for Minnesota and then he was shipped to the Jazz in 1993, where he served as a key starter on a Utah team that made the Western Conference finals twice in three seasons.
The talented player averaged 7.9 ppg and 8.4 rpg in the 1994 playoffs, where Utah Jazz advanced to the Western Conference finals before bowing 4-1 to the eventual champion Houston Rockets.
On August 10, 1996, he was obtained by the Orlando Magic for guard Brooks Thompson, forward Kenny Gattison, and a first-round draft pick, after the Orlando Magic had lost Shaquille O’Neal to the Lakers as a free agent.
But Felton played just one game for Orlando Magic before he was traded to Golden State in the deal that brought Rony Seikaly to the Magic.
The star went on to play 71 games for the Golden State Warriors and do a solid job in the middle, ranking 2nd on the team in rebounding and third in blocked shots.
His role was declined in 1997–1998 by the arrival of second-year man Erick Dampier as the starter, and the drafting of rookie Adonal Foyle, and Felton saw relatively limited action as a reserve in 68 games.
Spencer played even less in 1998–1999, averaging just 6.1 minutes in his 26 appearances off the bench. He retired after the 2001–02 season and worked as a security guard for Atherton High School (Louisville).
In 2011, he became an assistant basketball coach at Spalding University and later became an assistant basketball coach at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY.
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Specifics surrounding Felton Spencer’s Cause of Death
Specifics surrounding Felton Spencer’s death are not yet known. Louisville Men’s Basketball shared the heartbreaking news via a statement on Twitter.
“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 statement read.
Former Jazz assistant coach Gordon Chiesa when Felton played there from 1993-96, called the center a “standout rebounder and competitor.”
Chiesa wrote: “I am saddened by the passing of former Utah Jazz player Felton Spencer. I had the privilege to coach Felton from 1993-96, where he was a standout rebounder, interior defender, and competitor.”
He added: “His humility and spirit enhanced our squad. U of Louisville proud, R.I.P. in hoop heaven!”
Rex Chapman said that Felton Spencer was one of the sweetest, kindest, people he has ever known. He added: “Grew up in KY together & have known each other since age 15. Played on the last Kentucky all-star team to sweep Indiana together. Played against one another in college & the pros. A sad day. Rest Big Fella.”
“This is a difficult one. I was Felton’s orientation staffer when he arrived on campus. Prayers for his family, friends and fans,” Eric Crawford tweeted.
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