Friday, June 20, 2008

SPORTS>> Lonoke star adds honor to resume

Leader sportswriter

Lonoke’s Bradley Spencer capped off his high-school basketball career in style in Fayetteville this week by winning the Arvest Most Valuable Player award at the East-West All-Star game at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday night.

Spencer led the East squad with 16 points, and pulled down six rebounds, dished out six assists and made two steals in a 106-102 win over the West.

Spencer made 6 of 7 shots. His only miss came on a botched dunk attempt — the rest were all net.

It wasn’t like Spencer had the task of carrying the team. His teammates included fellow state championship MVP players John Ukadike of Catholic and Rose Bud’s ZachProthro. They had solid games themselves with nine points each, but Spencer’s dominant performance put him in the state spotlight for the second time in the past four months.

“Everybody had the same ability out there,” said the Harding University signee, who led the Jackrabbits to a state title back in March in Hot Springs, and earned MVP honors in that game as well. “We were all there to play and have fun. We all came out and everybody was juiced for the game. There was a lot of equal talent out there, so it was all up for grabs.”

Spencer said that while he may already be a Bison and is looking forward to playing at rowdy Rhodes Field House in Searcy, he enjoyed reveling in the tradition and glitz of Bud Walton Arena.

“It felt good to walk out on that court,” Spencer said. “I’ve always seen games there on TV, but had never played there. It just felt good to play on the same court as some of the Razorback players I grew up watching.”

As for the missed jam, which was reminiscent of a breakaway gone bad during the ’Rabbits first-round regional game against Highland in February, Spencer says he hopes to have his showboating skills down a little more solid before he wears the black and gold this winter.

“I got hung,” Spencer joked. “That’s the second one I’ve missed in a game like that. I’m going to have to work on that.”
He also says the comradeship among the players made the night even more special.

“Guys were coming up to me and saying, ‘Good job, boy,’ and stuff like that,” he said. “I knew a couple of those guys already.

We were basically giving each other thanks and congratulations when it was over. I had a lot of fun.”