Warren Bruce Spraggins, 82, Hall of Fame Basketball Player

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CHARLES CITY — Warren Bruce Spraggins passed away peacefully on September 12, 2021, at The Haven Residential Home in Charles City, Va. His life’s journey began on August 31, 1939. He was born the son of the late Benjamin L. Spraggins Sr. and Susie Josephine Spraggins. He was preceded in death by his two brothers, Benjamin L. Spraggins Jr. and Sherman Randolph Spraggins, and a beloved cousin James “Buddy” Hudson, Sr.

At the age of 13, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior and joined Union Baptist Church. In his later years after returning to Williamsburg, Bruce once again became an active member in the church he loved by becoming a member of the Building Committee, singing with the Church choirs especially enjoying the Male Chorus group and weekly Bible Study meetings.

Warren Bruce Spraggins of Charles City was a basketball player who was inducted into the Brooklyn Hall of Fame and the Rucker Professionals Hall of Fame. (Courtesy of Whiting’s Funeral Home)

Bruce attended Bruton Heights School, and upon graduating, he received a four-year basketball scholarship to Virginia Union University. While he was working towards his bachelor’s in counseling, he became a Kappa Alpha PSI member.  All the while, he was quickly excelling in the game of basketball that he loved. From 1958 to 1961, he held the CIAA scoring title and later became inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame. In 2008, Bruce was also inducted into the Virginia Union Hall of Fame, where his jersey number “30” was also retired. He continued to excel in basketball and was drafted in the fifth round by the Philadelphia Warriors of the National Basketball Association but signed with the Washington Tapers American Basketball League, ending his professional basketball career with the New Jersey Americans of the American Basketball Association. He was also inducted into the Brooklyn Hall of Fame and the Rucker Professionals Hall of Fame.

His next life adventures led him to become a co-owner of Appletown Sporting Goods in Harlem, New York. He never lost his desire to make a difference. He worked with youth programs under the New York City Housing Authority, holding basketball ball clinics in public housing with Fred Crawford, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Emmette Bryant.  He was a youth counselor with the Harlem YMCA-Youth Division, Harlem Youth Unlimited, and a Project Manager for the Patterson Task Force-Street Academy High School Dropouts.  He worked with the Harlow Corporation in New York and Texas, where children of all ages and adults furthered their education.  Before moving back to Virginia, Bruce worked with the New York City Board of Education as a substitute counselor and teacher.

He leaves to cherish his fond memories, his wife, Marilyn; his beloved son, Darrell (Mary); “special sons”, Anthony Williams and daughter, Marilyn, and Christopher Williams; “special daughter”, Tonya Robinson (Mike); three grandchildren, Darrell Jimmerson, Jr (Tiffany), TaMarra Jimmerson (Rashon), and Storie Veihl (Larry); six great-grandchildren, Noah, Chole’, Journee, Isaiah, Ni’Ray, and Chase whom will cherish his memories as “Grandaddy”; special nieces and nephews; caring friends along with lifelong friends, Fred Crawford and Shirley Baker; and the 1957 graduating class of Bruton Heights.

A service to celebrate Bruce’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 17, 2021, at Union Baptist Church.  Facial coverings and social distancing are required.  Livestream will be available at the beginning of the service.  Mr. Spraggins may be viewed on Friday in the church starting at 10:00 a.m. until the hour of his service.

Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting’s Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com

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