JUCO guard Corey Spence takes 30-hour ride to showcase, makes all-star game

1 Comment

The final open evaluation period of the summer has come and gone, with many fatigued coaches, players, parents and scouts likely happy to have some time for rest and relaxation.

But this weekend brought about one of the more remarkable stories on the circuit, one that involved a 30-hour trip to a junior college showcase via Greyhound.

Casper (WY) College point guard Corey Spence, who played his high school basketball at Dunbar High in Baltimore, embarked on a trip to the JucoRecruiting.com All-American JUCO Showcase in Las Vegas that few people would be willing to take.

“A lot,” said Spence in a quick Twitter exchange with NBCSports.com when asked about the number of stops. “Different small cities and a few long layovers.”

It’s one thing to take a long trip, but to ride on a bus for as long as Spence did and then make the showcase’s Top 20 all-star game has to say something about the man.

But Spence’s heart and willingness to do whatever it takes has already been on display, as he came back from a horrific car crash in 2010 to help lead his high school team to it’s 12th Maryland state title.

Here’s what Corey Spence remembers about that late-November night: leaving a party, hopping into the passenger’s seat of his friend’s car, waking up in the hospital.

Spence, Dunbar’s senior point guard, had fallen asleep on the drive from Baltimore County back into the city. Sometime after that, near the county line on Pulaski Highway, the car crashed into a utility pole. Spence said he woke up for a second, then blacked out almost immediately.

“When I got to the hospital, when I first arrived, my father asked the doctor [about my condition],” Spence said. “And he was like, ‘It’s a 50-50 chance.’ If I made it through the first night, I’d be good.”

Spence lost 45 pounds as a result of the crash, but thanks to his hard work and the assistance of Dunbar football coach Lawrence Smith he was able to return as the Poets’ starting point guard nearly a month after being released from the hospital.

From Dunbar Spence went to Bridgton Academy for prep school and then to South Plains College, where he helped lead the Texans to a 36-0 record and a national title before deciding to transfer to Casper.

Given the car crash and Spence’s road back to full strength and a return to the court he’s come a long way, so what’s a 30-hour trip from Casper to Las Vegas?

“It was hard but everything happens for a reason,” said Spence.

h/t to @Screwlack for passing on Spence’s high school story

Photo credit: Zach Long/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: