BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Junior Ben Spence (Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS) is a power forward for the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team who was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Spence was named to the Southern Athletic Association honor roll last year and played a key role for the Panthers on the court, collecting the most rebounds and steals on the team last season. He is a self-described "easy going" guy both on and off the court and always tries to keep a good attitude.
Although he is unsure where it will lead him career wise, Spence declared himself a history major at the end of last year. He has a passion for the subject and is especially fascinated by European history. But his ultimate desire is to be a college basketball coach. "I feel like I have a good understanding of the game and I feel like I can communicate that well," he said. "When I'm done playing I don't want to just hang it up, I kind of want to stay involved." Spence's high school coach in Memphis has offered him a coaching spot upon his graduation, which Spence is considering taking.
His father played collegiate basketball at Rhodes College, and is in their athletic hall of fame. His dad loves watching him play, and will even make the three-hour trip from Memphis to see a game and drive right back afterwards. He is happy he chose to attend a smaller school because it allows students to see friends in passing more often than a massive state school does. Spence was considering attending Rhodes, which is located in Memphis, but felt that he clicked better with the team at Birmingham-Southern. His advice to potential collegiate student-athletes is to go to the school that feels most comfortable and feels like the best fit, even when you may feel pressured to go somewhere else by your peers.
Spence is a huge Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Cowboys fan. He played football in middle school and as a freshman in high school before a bad concussion prompted him to quit. Despite not playing football, he maintained his love for the Cowboys and especially tight end Jason Witten. The Grizzlies gave Spence some great memories during their heyday in the early 2010's. He says that Grizzlies team was a part of Memphis' culture, and players like Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randloph were idolized by the whole town. He was even in attendance to see the franchise get its first ever playoff series win in 2011, and remembers that moment and that team fondly.
The fraternity-like bond of the BSC men's basketball team is, in Spence's mind, the greatest thing about being a student-athlete. The long bus rides or dull moments in the hotel before games are great bonding times for the team, and the comradery built by those moments is very meaningful to him. In addition to this, the basketball team also allows Spence to travel to new places and have fun experiences. During his freshman season, the team travelled to Costa Rica and was able to experience a new culture together. They travel to Puerto Rico this month and will be heading to Ireland next year because teammate Conor O'Sullivan calls it home. Spence is looking forward to visiting that part of the world for the first time and having O'Sullivan show the team around his homeland.
Who is you favorite music artist/band?
Red Hot Chili Peppers.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people do stuff so people react to it for the attention.
What is your favorite holiday?
Fourth of July.
What is your favorite sports team?
What is your favorite TV show?
Family Guy and Rick and Morty.
What is your favorite candy?
Hot weather or cold weather?
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