Connect with us

17 Carey Spicer

Carey Spicer
Hometown (Last School)
Lexington, KY (Senior)
1928-29, 1929-30, 1930-31
April 23, 1909

Carey Spicer was born Carey Alvin Spicer Jr. on April 23, 1909, in Lexington, Kentucky to Carey Alvin Spicer Sr. and Nettie O’Brien. 

He was a two-time All-American basketball player at the University of Kentucky. He captained Adolph Rupp’s first team in 1930–31, and became Rupp’s first All-American. He was also an All-Conference Quarterback for the football team who played varsity tennis and ran track. Rupp called him “one of the greatest athletes in University of Kentucky history.”

Spicer attended Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky. He was a three-sport star in high school, excelling in basketball, football, and track.  He was the president of his senior class and was the recipient of both the Yale Cup and the Pipers of Pan Cup.

Spicer was a 6-foot-1 forward who was known for his scoring ability and his all-around game. He quickly became a starter for the Wildcats, and he helped the team to a 15-3 record in 1930-31.

Spicer was one of two players most responsible for helping UK make a successful transition from the slow-down style employed by John Mauer to the more up-tempo style implemented by Rupp.  Spicer actually made All-American under both coaches-Mauer in 1929, Rupp in 1931.  He was the first Wildcat to be named an All-American twice.

Spicer also was the leading scorer on Rupp’s first team, averaging 11.2 points a game. He was a 66 percent free-throw shooter that season. He scored 27 points against Vanderbilt in 1931. UK’s record that season was 15-3. He was an All-Southern Conference player the same two years he was named an All-American.

Spicer was also a standout quarterback for the Kentucky football team. He led the team to a 6-2 record in 1930, and he set a school record for most touchdowns in a season with 11.

After graduating from UK, Mr. Spicer coached football and basketball for several years at Georgetown College. He coached Harry Lancaster while at Georgetown.  Lancaster went on to become Rupp’s longtime assistant.  He was a major in the Army during World War II, serving four years. After the war he joined Spalding Sporting Goods Co., selling primarily equipment for a sport he was not particularly good at – golf, according to his sister, Stella Gilb of Lexington. Mr. Spicer retired from Spalding.

Spicer married Katherine Drury, his high school sweetheart, on November 28, 1931, at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Lexington. The two went through high school and college and 65 years of marriage together.  They had two children, Carey Spicer, III, and Kay Elliott.

In 1964 he became the second former UK player to be elected into the Helms Basketball Hall of Fame. Forrest “Aggie” Sale, who played one year – 1931 – with Mr. Spicer at Kentucky, was the first.

Spicer died in 1996 at the age of 87. He was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1964.

Carey Spicer was a versatile athlete who excelled in multiple sports. He was a leader on the court and on the field, and he was a role model for his teammates. He is remembered as one of the greatest athletes in Kentucky basketball history.

Season Games Played Total Points
1928-29 15 86
1929-30 19 112
1930-31 18 188
Total 52 386



More in