Our beloved Felton L. Spencer, Jr., 55, of Louisville, Kentucky - University of Louisville basketball legend, retired 12-year NBA veteran, 6th pick in the 1990 NBA draft, and former assistant college coach - passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
He was born on January 5, 1968, in Louisville, Kentucky to Felton and Betty (Mills) Spencer. He is preceded in death by his father, Felton L. Spencer, Sr. and stepfather, James "Jim" Wilkinson, Sr.
Felton was an all-state basketball player at Eastern High School in Middletown, Kentucky. As both a junior and a senior, he led the team to the KHSAA state tournament in Lexington. Felton attended the University of Louisville where he played college basketball. He became the all-time field goal percentage leader at 62.8%. As a senior at U of L, he averaged 14.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, had 69 blocked shots, and a 68.1% field goal percentage. Felton graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science in Communications.
Felton was drafted as the overall 6th pick in the 1990 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves where in his rookie season averaged 7.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, with a 51.2% field goal percentage. After two additional seasons, he was traded to the Utah Jazz. In the 1993-1994 season, he averaged 8.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 50.5% from the floor. He continued with the Jazz until 1996. After a brief stint with the Orlando Magic, he was traded to the Golden State Warriors in the 1996-1997 season. He remained with the Warriors for three years before being traded to the San Antonio Spurs for the 1999-2000 season. Felton concluded his career playing with the New York Knicks from 2000-2002, at which time he retired.
Following his NBA career, he spent time as an assistant basketball coach for Spalding University and Bellarmine University. He also worked in the Jefferson County Public School System.
Felton was a kind, gentle giant who everyone loved dearly. His heart was even bigger than his stature. If you were in his presence, chances are you were smiling, and your heart was full. He was thoughtful, attentive, and took time to connect with people. Being a 7-footer, Felton could not go anywhere without being recognized or approached. While one could imagine this being burdensome at times, Felton never acted like it was. He embraced fans and strangers under any circumstance, never turning a soul away. He would even put down his fork in a restaurant to sign an autograph or take a photo with anyone who asked. He was generous and had a spirit of giving. He supported many charities over the years and had a passion for helping children and the less fortunate.
Felton was a loving father, and his sons Evan and Tristan were two of his proudest accomplishments. He and his mother were inseparable and had a special bond that will never be broken. He was the pillar of his family and always looked out for his sisters, younger brother, niece, and nephews. Whether you called him Felton, Chief, Noon or Nuney, he held a special place in everyone’s heart that will live on forever.
Felton is survived by his loving mother, Betty Mills Spencer, two sons, Evan Spencer and Tristan Spencer, siblings, Carrie Wright (Henry), Julia Wilkinson, Tammy Pollock (Edward), James "Mac" Wilkinson, Jr., niece, Deja Burks, nephews, David Burks, Jr., Drew Pollock, Blake Pollock, Quinn Pollock, Cole Pollock and James “Mackie” Wilkinson. Felton is also survived by a host of beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family members and loved ones.
Funeral services for Felton will be held privately and he will be laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery (1600 Newburg Rd, Louisville, KY 40205)
A public memorial service will be held at Southeast Christian Church (920 Blankenbaker Parkway, Louisville, KY 40243) on Saturday, March 18. Visitation will start at 10:00 AM followed by a celebration of Felton’s life at 12:00 PM.
To view a livestream of the service click here.
The family requests that contributions in Felton’s memory be made by clicking these links. Wayside Christian Mission
(432 E Jefferson St., Louisville, KY 40202) or by clicking ; on Southeast Christian Church
(920 Blankenbaker, Parkway Louisville, KY 40243)
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