Trinity Valley Community College

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Athens, TX 75751
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Cardinal Gym court named in honor of Leon Spencer
Posted: 8/13/2012 2:25:50 PM
Formal dedication ceremony to be scheduled this season

  When Leon Spencer walked off the court at Cardinal Gym for the final time after 42 years as head men’s basketball coach at Trinity Valley Community College in 2006, he thought he would never return.
  As it turns out, he will be there forever.
  There’s a new floor at the home of the TVCC basketball teams and it also now has a name: Leon Spencer Court.
  TVCC trustees last month approved the naming honor for Spencer, who also served more than 40 years as the college’s athletic director. He retired as the all-time winningest Texas JUCO coach with 809 wins
  “We are excited to have this opportunity to honor Coach Spencer for his years of service to the college and the success he enjoyed,” TVCC president Dr. Glendon Forgey said. “Coach Spencer had a hall of fame career here and this will assure he will forever be a part of Cardinal basketball.”
  The college has plans to schedule a formal court dedication ceremony prior to a Cardinal basketball game this season. 
  Spencer was inducted into the Cardinal Hall of Fame in 2008 as a member of the first induction class. He was also inducted into the NJCAA Men's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996 and is currently on the ballot for induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
  He came to TVCC — then known as Henderson County Junior College — in 1957 on a basketball scholarship. He went on to play football for East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce), where he was named the team’s MVP as a senior.
  Spencer returned to HCJC in 1964 as the head men’s basketball coach and assistant football coach.
  Spencer said there were many highlights in his career, but the 1981-82 season stands out the most. That year, the Cards took third place at the national tournament, coming closer to a national title than any other team in Cardinals basketball history. They finished 33-3, which still stands as the best season in the college's history.
  Other highlights in his career include the 1995 and 1999 seasons, when Spencer and the Cardinals again made national tournament appearances.
  Spencer coached numerous All-American, All-Region and All-Conference players. He led the Cardinals to more than a dozen conference championships and three regional titles.
  He coached internationally in such prestigious events as the National Sports Festival, USA International Cup Team and the World University Games in Mexico, where Spencer's team won a gold medal. In 1997, Spencer coached an American team to the International Friendship Cup Tournament Championship held in Holland.