Florida Tech’s Isaac Spence Awarded 2016 Male Sunshine State Conference Sportsmanship Award
By Florida Tech // August 10, 2016
graduated From FIT in May
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA –Florida Tech basketball student-athlete Isaac Spence is the 2016 male recipient of the Sunshine State Conference Sportsmanship Award. He is also nominated for the 2016 NCAA Sportsmanship Award.
After Florida Tech squandered a 28-point, first half lead on the road against rival Rollins, the Panthers battled back. Now down 72-69, Spence took the game into his own hands with just over one minute remaining.
The redshirt-senior scored his first points of the game with 43 seconds left. His bucket closed the score to 72-71, Tars. Isaac then stole a Rollins inbounds pass and went the length of the court for the go-ahead lay-up.
As he went up for the shot, he appeared to be fouled and fell hard to the ground. No foul was called. In the heat of the moment, Spence showed composure after the contact sent him to the floor.
Rather than stand up and react negatively towards the referee or the other team, he quickly got to his feet, helped up his opponent who had also fallen while contesting the shot, and hustled back down the floor to play defense.
Spence did it all without hesitation.
On the ensuing Tars possession, Spence grabbed a crucial defensive rebound and was fouled. He then sank both free throws, securing Florida Tech’s a 75-72 upset victory.
The late-season conference victory helped the Panthers clinch a spot in the SSC Championship Tournament.
“It’s another incredible accolade for a young man that, for five years of his life, was the epitome of sportsmanship at Florida Tech and in the Sunshine State Conference,” said Florida Tech Head Coach Billy Mims.
“This is a young man that came here hungry for an education, and college basketball was just a part of that journey for him. From his humble beginnings as a walk-on, to a team captain his senior year, and now the Sportsman of the Year for the Sunshine State Conference, it just gives you a picture of who this young man is. Isaac Spence has shown the true nature of what it really means to be a sportsmanship award winner in all areas of his life.”
The Superior, Colorado native recently graduated from Florida Tech with undergraduate degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. In 2016, Spence was named to the Allstate / NABC Good Works team, NABC Honors Court, and CoSIDA Academic All-District.
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