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Spencer "Spinny" Johnson

Basketball ∙ Geneva

Spencer "Spinny" Johnson isn't a native of Beaver County, but in three years at Geneva College he earned the right to be called a county legend through his ability on the basketball court.

Spinny's story is unique and ongoing. Despite standing 5'-4", he excelled on the hardwood and has parlayed that into an award-winning career as a motivational speaker.

From Frederick, MD, Spinny led his high school team to the state championship game in 1970. After spending a year at Lock Haven in 1971-72, he transferred to Geneva and promptly lifted the program to great heights.

The Geneva cagers were coming off of a gloomy five-year run when Spinny arrived. He transformed the Golden Tornadoes from a six-win season in his first year to 19 and 22 wins in his final two years. So good was his play that he was named to the PA District 18 all-star team as a junior and senior, and earned MVP honors at several tournaments. Spinny was also named a Small College All-American those last two years. For his career, he finished with 1,656 points, ranking third all-time in Geneva history at that time. He averaged 18.3 points and seven assists, leading the team in points, assists and steals all three years.

His dazzling all-around play caught the eye Meadowlark Lemon and Marques Haynes. When the former Globetrotters started their own comedy basketball teams, Spinny spent time with each. He played with them for over a three-year period. One of his teammates during that time was the great Wilt Chamberlain.

Since 1984, Spinny, who graduated from Geneva with a degree in psychology, started his own one-man show, "On the Ball Spinny." He visits schools and other events, performing an upbeat, dynamic program which features fun and amazing skills while teaching the importance of education, respect, goal setting, determination, and perseverance. The performance has had extensive exposure in conjunction with Nancy Reagan's Drug Awareness Program.

Living in Montgomery County his entire life, Spinny and his wife Kathy are the parents of three daughters: Jenelle, Caitlin, and Anisa. In 2012, Spinny was inducted into the Lincoln Park, Rockville, MD, Hall Of Fame.

Besides his extensive schedule traveling throughout the nation with his message, he also substitute teaches in Montgomery County, MD. And it has all resulted from his days at Geneva as a standout student-athlete.