What's in a Name?

Spenser Spencer

 No one knows better what’s in a name than freshman guard Spenser Casanova Spencer. The chant “Spen-ser Spen-cer!” often rings through Susquehanna’s Orlando W. Houts Gymnasium during home basketball games.

Originally, his father wanted his first name to be Casanova, but his mother opposed the idea. So, the name Spenser C. Spencer was born. Why such an unconventional name? “They [his parents] wanted to be creative and unique,” says Spencer.

Growing up in Seattle, Wash., Susquehanna was a mystery to Spencer. He says he’s been playing basketball “ever since I can remember,” but he didn’t join a school team until the fifth grade. He continued on the team throughout high school at Seattle’s Lakeside School, the same school Microsoft mogul Bill Gates attended.

After high school, Spencer attended Loomis Chaffee prep school in Windsor, Conn., for one year. While playing a pickup game of basketball at a local court, he met Susquehanna University Trustee Alan Bennett ’72, CEO of H&R Block. Bennett asked Spencer where his college search had taken him. When he found that Spencer was undecided, he suggested his alma mater.

Spencer’s recruitment went into the hands of Frank Marcinek, head men’s basketball coach. Marcinek obtained a video of Spencer’s court time from Loomis Chaffee and liked what he saw, so he invited the Seattle boy on an overnight campus visit. The rest, as they say, is history.

Currently, Spencer is a guard playing under the number 24 jersey. One of his best moments from the 2008–09 season came during a Jan. 10 game at Moravian College. SU trailed at the half, 38–26, but came back to win the game, 70–64. “We played the best half we played [all season],” Spencer says.

Marcinek’s proudest moment working with Spencer came during the first game of the season against Misericordia University. Susquehanna was trailing until Spencer came off the bench. He took the game over for SU, scoring 21 points in just 22 minutes. “He’s been a really great addition to the team,” Marcinek says.

A business major with an emphasis in marketing, Spencer has a penchant for scoring, making it certain that “Spen-ser Spen-cer!” will continue to be heard at Susquehanna basketball games.


Contributing writers to Scoreboard are Robert Edward Healy III, Cory Prescott ‘10 and Kelly Stemcosky ‘11.

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