The Louisville basketball community is heartbroken by the news of Felton Spencer’s passing. A beloved 12-year NBA veteran, who ended his career with the Knicks, passed away on Sunday at age 55.

On Sunday afternoon, Tammy Pollock (Spencer’s sister) announced on Twitter that Spencer had “passed away peacefully.”

“Our beloved Felton Spencer – former @uofl basketball legend, retired 12-year NBA veteran and 6th pick in the 1990 NBA draft, and former assistant college coach – passed away peacefully this afternoon,” Pollock said.

“It was befitting that he received excellent care in his final hours from the providers at the University of Louisville Hospital, his Alma mater that he loved so dearly,” Pollock continued in another tweet.

“Our family thanks them and everyone who participated in his care,” she stated.

“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.”

Louisville men’s basketball expressed its deep sadness in a tweet commemorating Spencer following the heartbreaking news.

“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.”

Reflecting on their decades-long friendship, Rex Chapman – the NBA legend from Kentucky – fondly remembers his time with Spencer.

“Felton Spencer was one of the sweetest, kindest, people I’ve ever known,” Chapman said. “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.”

Spanning twelve years, Spencer accumulated a notable career playing for the Timberwolves, Jazz, Magic, Warriors, Spurs, and Knicks. His average was 5.2 points per game with 5.4 rebounds on top of that!

“We remember former Warriors center Felton Spencer, who passed away today at the age of 55,” the Warriors PR account wrote on Twitter.

“A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Felton played three seasons with the Warriors (1996-99) during a 12-year NBA career. Our condolences to his family and friends.”

Gordon Chiesa, the former Jazz assistant coach who coached Spencer from 1993-96, praised the veteran center’s humble nature and dedication to his team which had enhanced their unity.

“I am saddened by the passing of former Utah Jazz player Felton Spencer,” Chiesa said. “I had the privilege to coach Felton from 1993-96, where he was a standout rebounder, interior defender, and competitor. His humility and spirit enhanced our squad. U of Louisville proud, R.I.P. in hoop heaven!”

Spencer truly shined during his four years at Louisville from 1986-90, appearing in an impressive 134 games.

Standing at an intimidating 7 feet and 3 inches, this giant of a man led the Cardinals to consecutive triumphant Metro Conference tournament wins, as well as two Sweet 16 appearances – a remarkable achievement!

Even today, his impressive field-goal success rate of 62.8% stands as the Louisville program record.

In the 1990 NBA draft, Spencer was selected sixth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves and played his first three professional seasons with them.

Following two years with the Knicks, Spencer bid farewell to the sport in 2002 and moved on to become an assistant coach at Spalding University and Bellarmine University.