Fan icons make move to new Louisville basketball home

Where are they now, some of those people who became fan icons of University of Louisville basketball at Freedom Hall? Were they able to make the move to the new KFC Yum! Center?

Happy to report that the three of most recognized fans — Rob Hickerson, Stuart Grossman and Scott Spicer — have followed the Cardinals to their new home.

Rob Hickerson

Hickerson, who started the C-A-R-D-S cheer in 1980, is firmly planted in Row A of Section 311 in the northwest corner of the arena. “The situation is a challenge because the site/sight lines are so different from Freedom Hall,” he says.

Rob Hickerson (Hell In The Hall photo)

A mortgage banker at Fifth Third Bank, Hickerson says he hasn’t led the cheer yet because it’s difficult from his location in the front row. “I may have to go up to the handicapped section to get it going again,” he said. “I will probably give it a shot at the Jackson State game (Saturday).

“I love the new arena and I believe it will serve us well. The acoustics are incredible.”

Stuart Grossman

Grossman, known for waving the black and white official shirt for decades, is no longer at center court but he’s still on the first level, in Row X of Section 104 parallel to the basket.

“Yes, I still take the officials’ shirt,” he said. “It’s a challenge because getting up and down steps is not as easy as it once was.”

Stuart lost his wife, Phyllis, in 2005. “She was more of a fan than me,” he said, adding that her dad once served as a doctor for the Cleveland Browns.

Together they ran the Spot Distributing Company, which distributed tobacco and candy products. They originated the UofL Jelly Bellies, the red and black Jelly Beans.

Scott Spicer

Spicer, who steals the show during the Thornton’s Boogey Cam breaks, is located in the southwest corner on the third level of the new arena. Scott has Downs Syndrome and was the subject of an interview a while back over at  Hell In The Hall.

Scott Spicer (Hell In The Hall photo)

Spicer was spotted Tuesday at the UofL women’s basketball game against Houston Baptist about 10 rows from the court in the northwest corner. And, yes, he was boogying.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.