As a member of the Saint Louis University men's basketball team in the late-1990s, Corey Frazier was a part of the 'glory days'. Under Spoonhour's watch, the program reached new heights.
"He gave a lot guys the chance to play," Frazier said. "The guys he recruited were probably not getting good looks somewhere else, but he went after those types of kids who were going to work hard for him."
Leading the Billikens to two of its' three NCAA Tournament wins, Spoonhour brought excitement to the St. Louis area. It was a frequent occurrence that 21,000 fans would pack the Kiel Center.
Furthermore, from those who knew Spoonhour, he was an infectious personality and was a joy to be around. Frazier remembers him for a variety of reasons.
"The most fondest thing, I was always responsible for Jeremy Biles, one of my teammates who was from Charleston (MO) also. I was responsible for Jeremy and if I came to practice and Jeremy wasn't there, I always got to look over my shoulder and turn around and was like, 'Aw, I gotta go back and get him' or make sure he was supposed to be at. I think everything that happened, every practice, every time we talked, it was memorable for me."
"No matter how serious practice was, rest assured you're going to hear a joke," Frazier noted. "I do remember one thing in particular about the defense. I remember when he said when I subbed out the game, 'The defense goes to the Himalayas or wherever the hell else they go."
As fun-loving as Spoonhour could be, he also wanted the players to learn more about themselves and improve as men.
"He was real big on being disciplined and making sure we knew was life was about," Frazier said. "Not letting this basketball thing be the only thing. It's also the academic thing, and socially. He even made us take etiquette classes and stuff of that nature. He really cared about us as individuals and us as being productive citizens."
Frazier, now the head varsity men's basketball coach at Maplewood Richmond-Heights, spoke with Spoonhour every year before the season started.
"I would at least say 'hi' and see what his thoughts were on different things," Frazier said. "He really gave me my identity as a coach. The way you play, with passion and care and get the best out of everybody. That's what drove me to be the coach I am today."
Frazier still speaks with Jay Spoonhour, who recruits kids in the St. Louis area. The bond, Frazier said, is like a family.
"When he first got sick, we reached out to him via email, phone calls, whatever it took."
Each year, Spoonhour would leave Frazier with the same advice.
"Hey, do what you're supposed to do. Stay disciplined, and stay humble."