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Army National Guard of the Week: UConn’s Cam Spencer driven by competitive fire

army-national-guard-of-the-week:-uconn’s-cam-spencer-driven-by-competitive-fire
Army National Guard of the Week: UConn’s Cam Spencer driven by competitive fire

Back on Oct. 13, before the defending national champion UConn Huskies were set to kick off the 2023-24 college basketball campaign, the program held its annual “First Night” event, which is a chance for students, basketball donors and season ticket holders to get a first look at the Huskies’ team.

Included in the event was a 3-point shooting contest, which featured returning starter Alex Karaban and transfer Cam Spencer, who joined the Huskies’ program after spending the first three seasons of his collegiate career at Loyola Maryland before playing at Rutgers the previous year.

Spencer became a household name throughout the Big Ten during his one season at Rutgers, known as one of the top 3-point shooters in the conference. When he announced his decision to transfer to UConn back in June, there was immediate excitement surrounding the program, with hopes that the senior guard could help fill a shooting void following Jordan Hawkins’ departure for the NBA.

Spencer showed off his elite shooting skills during that 3-point contest, but in the end, he fell short to Karaban in front of a jam-packed Gampel Pavilion.

What happened next perfectly encapsulates Spencer’s competitive nature, another reason he was such an attractive transfer prospect to Dan Hurley and the Huskies’ coaching staff.

“I was not happy about that,” said Spencer, who did not speak to any of his teammates the rest of the night after losing the 3-point shootout. “You get my competitive fire going by bringing it up.”

Spencer’s competitive fire has been on full display in his first season with the Huskies and has helped the team get off to a 12-1 start in Big East play. UConn is currently ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 Poll and have run off 12 wins in a row heading into a Wednesday night matchup against Big East foe DePaul.

Spencer has been a catalyst for the Huskies’ success, averaging a team-high 15.3 points per game, to go along with 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and a 45.2% shooting clip from 3-point range. His impressive play has led to him being named this week’s FOX Sports Army National Guard of the Week. With that, we discussed a number of topics, including his journey to Storrs, Connecticut and his relationship with head coach Dan Hurley.

“I think we are very similar,” Spencer said of Hurley. “We are just super competitive, super fiery, very intense guys who just want to win. We hate to lose.”

Spencer’s competitive nature started at a young age and was fueled by the fact that he wasn’t heavily recruited coming out of Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore. He had one offer out of college, from Loyola Maryland, which he accepted before enrolling in the summer of 2019.

“I take pride in knowing that no one really wanted me,” Spencer said. “There was a time when no one wanted me to be a part of their team, and as a competitor, that fires me up.”

As for now, Spencer has found a perfect home, and he has UConn fans dreaming about a repeat national championship.

“I’m in a great spot now at UConn,” Spencer said. “I love everything about it.”

Watch my complete interview with Spencer below and follow along at FOXSports.com and on social media, @CBBonFOX, for our next FOX Sports Army National Guard of the Week interview.

UConn’s Cam Spencer is John Fanta’s Army National Guard of the Week

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on X at @John_Fanta.


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