Last year, Chuck D and Basketball Hall of Famer, Spencer Haywood, met backstage at Public Enemy’s show in Las Vegas. From that encounter evolved a friendship which lead to Chuck’s narration of the upcoming Spencer Haywood documentary, "Full Court” and a soundtrack featuring music by Chuck, Common, DMC, HR of Bad Brains, Shaquille O'Neal, Daddy-O, Memphis Jelks, Keith Shocklee, Kerwin Young, Khari, Sammy Sam, Jahi, Stephon Marbury, YDG, Antlive, MF911, Gambit and many more to be announced. Growing up, Chuck D was a big Spencer Haywood fan, drawing pictures of him which he has kept over the years.
Spencer’s story is larger than life. He grew up helping his mother pick cotton in the Mississippi fields to feed his family, discovered basketball and lead his high school team to the Michigan State Championships. While attending junior college, Spencer was the leading scorer on the USA's Gold Medal winning basketball team during the 1968 Olympics and led the NCAA in rebounding with a 21.5 average per game, while scoring 32.1 points per game during the 1968-69 season. Spencer decided to leave college after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career, but the NBA rules, which then required a player to wait until his class graduated, barred him from entering the league. The ABA did not prohibit the transfer and he joined the Denver Rockets of the ABA where he was named ABA Rookie of the Year.
The Supersonics wanted Spencer on their team and in 1970, Spencer joined the NBA team despite the NBA’s eligibility rules. When the NBA challenged this move, Spencer and the Supersonics filed an anti-trust suit against the NBA. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Court agreed with Spencer and the Supersonics that the NBA’s eligibility rule banning Spencer was unlawful. This ruling, known as the “Haywood Rule,” lead to pave the way for such superstars as Shaq, Kobe, Jordan, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and many more to enter the NBA without having to graduate or even go to college. Spencer became a star with Supersonics and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year.
“Full Court” will be premiered in Seattle on May 21 with the soundtrack to be released soon.
By: Kate G for Update Reports on The SPITdigital SLAMjamz Recording Label Group