Since graduating from Dunbar in 2010, Corey Spence has lived in Maine, Texas and Wyoming. Starting this summer, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound point guard will make his home in Colorado.
On Monday, Spence committed to Northern Colorado over Liberty. The former Poets star was also recruited by Cal State Bakersfield, Florida Atlantic, Nebraska Omaha, Northern Arizona and San Francisco.
"I'm glad to get it all over with and finally [have] found a Division I scholarship," Spence said Tuesday.
Spence's search for a DI offer began in East Baltimore several years ago. He overcame serious injuries suffered in a car accident his senior year to lead the Poets to the Class 1A state championship. But with few college options, Spence headed to Bridgton Academy in Maine for a post-grad year.
Spence generated some legitimate DI interest, but his SAT score fell just short of NCAA qualifying standards, and he headed to South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Spence, who teamed with Derrell Edwards (Dunbar) and Stanton Kidd (Edmondson) at South Plains, averaged just 9.2 minutes in 21 games for the undefeated 2012-13 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I champions (36-0).
"At first it was kind of difficult because I wasn't used to not seeing that many minutes on the floor," Spence said. "But after a while I just adjusted to it because my team was winning. That would be selfish of me to [worry about playing time] with my team winning."
With South Plains set to return its top point guards, Spence decided to transfer last summer to Casper (Wyo.) College, which was in need of someone to play the 1. Spence kept in contact with the coaches and enrolled there last year.
Spence, who said he averaged around 13 points, six assists and three steals as a sophomore, started receiving serious DI interest shortly after he started suiting up for Casper. Northern Colorado was one of his most persistent suitors.
Spence visited the Greeley, Colo., campus earlier this spring, touring the athletic facilities and the business and communications buildings. After visiting Liberty last weekend, he decided that Northern Colorado was where he wanted to be.
"Next year I should be playing a lot of minutes, just because they need a point guard of my caliber," Spence said. "Also, they have the entire team coming back. We have a chance to win the Big Sky championship and get to the NCAA tournament."
Spence is still getting used to living out west, where the pace feels "not as busy" as Baltimore and the "weather is cold and snowy, even in the middle of April." But the Dunbar graduate and his family couldn't be happier with how his recruitment ultimately played out.
"They're extremely proud of me," Spence said. "Coming from high school, I didn't have that many schools coming. [And the same with] last year not playing [much]. This is just a new start for me."