Finding a home and community at California Baptist University, Taj Spencer, junior communication studies major and forward for the men’s basketball team, wakes up every day able to see the different ways he has been taught to have a stronger game and personal code of conduct.
“He is all CBU,” said Rick Croy, head coach of the men’s basketball team. “He supports all of the other sports teams. He represents the community he grew up in and serves as a tremendous role model.”
Raised in Moreno Valley, California, Spencer began playing basketball at a young age. Both of his parents played basketball–his father spent time in the NBA–and their years of experience inspired him to start playing, as well.
Prior to coming to CBU, Spencer played for one season at Pasadena City College, where he earned All-South Coast Conference honors.
He said his time spent at his previous school was a good experience and helped him develop his skills, but coming to CBU has aided him in honing his skills.
“This is my first year at CBU, and it’s probably been the best year of my life when it comes to basketball and life in general,” Spencer said. “The coaches here teach you so much more than just basketball.”
Perfecting his skills has paid off as he has already claimed the PacWest Conference Player of the Week award for averaging 20 individual points and nine rebounds per game. He also scored a career-high 22 points against Dominican University of California and Academy of Art University.
Croy said Spencer is able to play well both on defense and offense, which gives him an edge in scoring points.
Spencer said he is appreciative of the lessons God and all of his coaches have taught him.
“In life, you just have to be true,” he said. “True to yourself and true to the game; you can’t cheat anything.”
Croy said he has noticed God teaching Spencer a few valuable lessons since coming to CBU.
“God has really shown Taj how to tap into all of his gifts by continuing to build a strong work ethic,” Croy said. “There is no ceiling on his potential.”