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Loyola Maryland's Pat Spencer (7), right, said his grandparents played a big role in his deicision to become a Greyhound.
Loyola Maryland's Pat Spencer (7), right, said his grandparents played a big role in his deicision to become a Greyhound. (Christopher T. Assaf / Baltimore Sun)

When it came to selecting a college for his education and athletic career, Pat Spencer chose Loyola Maryland because, in part, the Greyhounds showed more interest than Villanova and Fairfield did.

Another reason was his grandparents.

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The Davidsonville resident is very close to his paternal grandparents, Jack and Sylvia Spencer, and his maternal grandparents, George and Martha Robey. Both sets of grandparents attended every game Spencer played at Boys' Latin, and giving them an opportunity to watch him play Loyola Maryland – which earned the No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament and will host Duke (11-7) in Saturday's first-round game at Ridley Athletic Complex at noon – was a factor in his decision.

"My family was definitely a huge piece of why I chose Loyola," Spencer said. "I don't think my grandpa [George Robey] missed one of my high school games, and the fact that he's able to come to a lot of my games and catch them on TV or streaming, that's a huge factor as to why I chose Loyola."

Labeled the best rookie in Division I, Loyola Maryland's Pat Spencer has scored 71 points on 30 goals and 41 assists. The Davidsonville resident and Boys' Latin graduate has tied the Greyhounds' Division I record for points, set a freshman record for assists, and ranks fifth in the program's record book for assists in a single season.

Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey recalled an occasion when he met Robey for the first time.

"The first couple of practices in the fall, there was a gentleman watching us at practice, and you get your gander up as a coach. 'Who is that?'" Toomey said. "During a Saturday scrimmage at 9 a.m., I walked over, and he said, 'Coach, I'm Pat Spencer's grandfather. I'm just here to watch him play if that's OK.' I said, 'You could sit at the 50 [-yard line] if you want.' I think he's really happy being local. He goes home a lot, spends time with his family. His brother plays golf, and he's a Boys' Latin kid. I think that's really worked out well for him."

Five Maryland schools, nearly a third of the field, still have a chance to advance in the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament.

As for the sparse amount of interest from Division I programs, Spencer said it didn't bother him.

"I was just waiting for it," he said. "When you go to all of those showcases and you play on all of those select teams, you're waiting for a call, and if you don't get one, you kind of feel like you're missing out. At the same time, you keep plugging away and hope that a Loyola, which holds a few spots for late bloomers, picks you up."

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