Former Bakersfield College basketball standout Andre Spencer, who is the only former BC player to play in the NBA, died July 31. He was 56.
The 6-foot-6 Spencer, a graduate of Los Angeles-Manual Arts High, played two seasons for the Renegades under the guidance of legendary coach Ralph Krafve from 1982 to 1984 before accepting a scholarship to Northern Arizona. He earned all-Big Sky Conference honors for the Lumberjacks in 1986.
He followed up his college career with a long professional career that started in the CBA, continued in Israel and eventually landed him in the NBA where he played parts of two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.
During the 1992-93 season, Spencer averaged 11 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 17 games as a rookie with the Warriors. For his career, he played in 48 games, starting two, averaging 7.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
"Andre was someone who cared so much for the BC men's basketball program," said Renegades head of basketball operations Aaron Chávez. "His accomplishments are second to none. He may arguably be the best Renegade of all-time. My family and I are saddened by his passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
After his stint in the NBA, Spencer returned to Europe where he played until retiring in 2002. He was most recently coaching an AAU team in Southern California.
"Andre was a great person who was all about helping athletes get into school through basketball," said former BC head basketball coach Rich Hughes. "His playing resume speaks for itself. Our prayers and condolences go out to his family."