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SPENCER WILL BYPASS BAHAMAS FOR STINT IN JAZZ’S ROOKIE CAMP

SHARE SPENCER WILL BYPASS BAHAMAS FOR STINT IN JAZZ’S ROOKIE CAMP

While Luther Wright is sunning himself in the Bahamas, Felton Spencer is getting ready to sweat in Salt Lake City.

Spencer, the 7-foot center acquired by the Utah Jazz from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a draft-day trade for Mike Brown, said this week he will attend the Jazz's rookie/free agent camp that begins in two weeks."I feel it will give me a good chance to learn coach (Jerry) Sloan's system and get acclimated to the altitude," Spencer said from his Salt Lake City hotel room. "It's a chance to get a step ahead."

The question, in this era of pro athletes who generally don't do anything they don't absolutely have to do, is why Spencer - a three-year veteran - would attend two-a-day practice sessions in a torrid Westminster College gym.

"The Jazz have shown a lot of faith in me by giving me an extra year on my contract," Spencer said. "I want to show them I have the same faith and dedication."

Jazz owner Larry Miller, for one, likes Spencer's commitment.

"I'm frankly delighted about it," he said. "It says to us loud and clear that he's serious about preparing himself to break into the lineup as soon as possible."

Miller said that while some Jazz players, such as Karl Malone and Thurl Bailey, attended rookie camp after their rookie seasons, he couldn't recall anyone doing it after three pro seasons.

Wright, meanwhile, is another story. Jazz officials this week said that, to their knowledge, the team's first-round draft pick is on a two-week idyll in the Bahamas. They are still in contact with his agent and hope to work something out in time for Wright to attend camp, but for now they don't know when he plans to make an appearance in Utah.