Freshman basketball player Spencer Levi earned a spot on the Top 100 watchlist for the 2017-2018 Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award, given to the best small college basketball player in the country. This is only one of the many honors that Levi has earned this season. The 6 foot 7 inch tall player averages 19 points a game, 11 rebounds and three blocks. In NCAA division III he is fifth in the nation in shooting percentage, sixth in blocked shots, and 11th for rebounds.
Although the freshman business major with a French concentration has been making great strides on the court, he did not start to seriously train for the sport until his junior year of high school.
“I was pretty short my freshman and sophomore year of high school,” Levi said. “I was 5’8, but my junior year I shot up to 6’4 and today I’m 6’7.”
The growth spurt pushed Levi to really start training and dedicating himself to the sport. He began training with an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team his junior year and can’t remember stopping his basketball training since.
His junior year, he was named all-conference, and his senior year he was all-state and conference player of the year. Naturally, the recruiting began, and the University of Dallas was among the schools that knew Levi would be an asset.
The St. Louis native said he ultimately chose UD because of the weather and the location.
“I was being recruited by schools like Columbia and Eastern New Mexico, but I was really drawn to the big city,” Levi said.
The team is 9-8 so far and has eight games until the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament in late February. Before starting any game, Levi has his own way of mentally preparing for the game.
“It’s pretty weird, but I take showers before every game, even though I’m obviously going to get dirty and sweaty,” Levi said “It’s something I’ve always done because it helps cool me down and is like a safe area for me. I usually just go into the shower, listen to music, and then go play my game.”
His go to song right now is Bootsy Collins, “I’d Rather Be With You.”
This is one of the many reasons Levi is an asset to the team: he is not only talented, but is a good teammate as well.
“[Levi] has helped change the identity of this team and in my opinion is already one of the top five all-time players at this school, without question,” Manny Calton, team captain, said.
Similarly, Coach Jarred Samples, said that while Levi’s offensive numbers are impressive, his play on the opposite side of the court has also been commendable.
“He has had just as much impact on the defensive end of the floor this year,” Samples said. “He is a complete player that makes the others around him better.”
With many games ahead, Levi hopes to help the team win out in the regular season and ultimately win the SCAC tournament at the end of the year.
“I know we have the potential to do it and with the remaining games we have left, I’m sure we’ll be a force to be reckoned with,” Levi said.
No matter the outcome, Levi will definitely help boost the profile of the Crusaders.