This week’s Pilot in the Spotlight is senior forward Julie Spencer. She recently reached 1,000 career points for the women’s basketball team in a game against Santa Clara University on Jan. 24, although the Pilots narrowly lost, 72-66. As of Feb. 13, she has scored 1,049 points for the Pilots.
Spencer is ranked second all-time for career defensive rebounds among Pilot women’s basketball. This season, she is averaging 15 points per game, compared to her career average of 9.3 points per game. The senior is leading in the team in field goals (133), rebounds (178) and blocks (11) as of their last game against Gonzaga on Feb. 9.
“That had been a goal that I didn't think I was going to reach as an individual but when I realized I had a shot at it, I was bound and determined to try,” Spencer said in an email about her 1,000th career point. “It was definitely something I will always remember and feel like I at least left a mark in some way.”
Spencer lead the team in points against Santa Clara, putting 25 on the board before the final buzzer. Before she became such a strong force for the Pilots, the senior forward struggled her freshman year.
“Freshman year was difficult, as I'm sure it is for most freshmen who are trying to adapt to new surroundings and schedules,” Spencer said. “I didn't realize how much college basketball was going to ask of me: mentally, physically, psychologically and even spiritually.”
Spencer has grown and adapted as a player throughout her years with Portland, through highlights like the team’s upset of St. Mary’s College her junior year and struggles like the narrow loss against Brigham Young University this season.
“Before every game, I like to listen to music. It gets me in the right mindset. I also like to eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich if I can,” Spencer said of her pre-game rituals. “And then finally, I like to pray and offer up my play and the outcome of the game to God. He is the reason I am where I am and I do what I do. It’s all for Him.”
Morgan Wahler is a sports reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.