Loyola lacrosse legend Pat Spencer, who restarted his basketball career after winning the Tewaaraton Award as a senior with the Greyhounds in 2019, is now one step away from the NBA, and he’s pleased with the progress he’s made as player with the G League’s Capital City Go-Go this year.
Spencer played lacrosse for Loyola from 2016-2019, scoring 149 goals (second in program history) and dishing out 231 assists (tops in Division I history). His 380 points are third in Division I history. But instead of exploring a professional lacrosse career, Spencer opted to pursue his first love of basketball.
Spencer, a native of Davidsonville, Md., played basketball at Boys’ Latin and stayed sharp in the sport by playing in the Annapolis Summer League at Truxtun Park. After graduating from Loyola, he played hoops at Northwestern during the 2019-20 season. He averaged 10.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game across 31 contests (29 starts).
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Spencer went undrafted in November 2020 and then played in Germany. The Wizards then gave him a look during an August tryout, where he earned a spot on the Go-Go’s training camp roster. (The Go-Go is the G League affiliate of the Wizards.) He cracked the roster and is averaging 5.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest entering play Jan. 26.
Spencer, 25, is pleased with the progress he’s made as a professional basketball player so far.
“It’s been a good start for me,” Spencer said on Glenn Clark Radio Jan. 21. “We’ve had a couple guys go down with some injuries and some COVID-related stuff, so I’ve had an opportunity to really get on the floor and have made the most of my opportunities. I’m enjoying it. Going into this, I knew it was going to be quite the journey and it has been. I’m enjoying it every step of the way so far.”
But Spencer’s ultimate goal is to contribute in the NBA. He understands what kind of player he needs to be in order to make that a reality.
“I think for me my role at the next level is probably going to be in a reserve role and being somebody that they can trust to come in, take care of the basketball, make plays for other guys around me and lock up defensively,” Spencer said. “I’m realistic with myself. I’m not going to come in and be an NBA All-Star, but I think I have a lot to bring to the table at the next level.”
Spencer is happy to be pursuing his dream in front of friends and family, too. The Go-Go play home games at Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southeast D.C., so that means everyone — his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, even — can watch him play.
Spencer’s close proximity to home also means he can easily see his brother, Cam, play at Loyola. Cam is averaging 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for a Loyola team that has Patriot League title aspirations. Pat and Cam got to see each other for several days for the holidays, but otherwise they catch up at each other’s games.
They’ll offer suggestions from the stands … and maybe talk a little trash, too.
“We normally get fired up for each other for the most part. We do talk a little bit of smack,” Pat said. “If anybody knows us, they know that we do talk a little bit but not personal. From a coaching standpoint, it’s easier to see some things from the sideline from time to time, too. We definitely give each other pointers if we have a second in the game. Aside from that, I think we’re just there for support and just to fire each other up.”
For more from Spencer, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Stephen Gosling/NBA Photos