Outside of the U.S., Canada is a country that has arguably produced the steadiest line of college and NBA talent. In the recent 2022 NBA Draft, Bennedict Mathurin and Shaedon Sharpe were selected in the lottery. This year’s college season, Purdue big man Zach Edey is making a name for himself in the National Player of the Year conversation. Introducing Spencer Ahrens — a 6’9” forward who possesses projectable size, an all-around game, and a polished skill set for his age. Ahrens attends St. Martin SS (which goes by the club basketball name, PEDSDMD Elite) and plays on Monarchs Elite (Canada) for AAU. Previously, he was selected to the 2022 BioSteel Futures Game and suited up for Team Ontario’s U17 team. With current scholarship offers from Ohio, UMBC, and Illinois, it is safe to expect that more high major programs will enter the picture sooner rather than later.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Ahrens discussed his COVID growth spurt and training regimen, his goal to make Team Canada this summer, his early recruitment update including interest in learning about Overtime Elite, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Spencer Ahrens, from Oakville, Ontario, Canada:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today? Talk a bit about your background and family.
Spencer Ahrens: My family is from Canada. All my grandparents, my mom, my dad are from Canada. My mom and my dad played basketball growing up. My mom played university basketball. That's kind of where I started playing basketball — from her. I got a brother and a sister. They both play basketball as well and it kind of runs in the family. I mean, that's kind of it.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
SA: I played baseball, soccer, volleyball and then basketball. Basketball was actually picked up last, in grade six.
PI: When did you primarily start to focus on basketball?
SA: When COVID started, that's kind of when I started training every single day. I had a growth spurt in COVID too, so I was like “I can really make it someday if I keep working.” Worked every single day, and that's kind of when I started — maybe grade nine, grade ten, the start of grade ten I would say and just keeping at it.
PI: What was your height before COVID?
SA: To be honest, I'd say probably 6’1” before COVID and then after like 6’7”, 6’8” and I've just kept growing like the past couple months.
PI: What are your current measurements?
SA: Probably not to the exact, but I think my wingspan is around 7’0”. My height is currently 6’9” and I weigh around 207 to 215 lbs — that kind of range, looking to put on more weight though like muscle so yeah, that’s what it’s at right now.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and playstyle?
SA: I would say I got high IQ. I can play all positions, like positionless. I can rebound the ball. Pass, I can see the floor. I’m working on my defense more, that's maybe one of my weaknesses right now. Strength is shooting, and passing IQ.
PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?
SA: There's a few I try to pick like NBA players or even college players. Not one particularly, but I would say Franz Wagner, Luka Doncic, and Brandon Ingram. Those types of guys I watch most of their NBA games to like pick up some parts of their game and put into mine.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
SA: Short term goals…in the summer, I hope I'm making Team Canada for the first time. Hopefully getting a couple more D1 offers in the summer through the live periods and having more options for choosing schools. And I just want to gain some muscle and some weight going into the summer and just be ready for college.
PI: How did the opportunity come about to attend PEDSDMD Elite?
SA: The opportunity came in grade eight. Coach Errol, he knew I played at Monarchs because he too is another Monarchs coach. It started in grade 7 and then in grade 8 he saw me play and he was like “we need this guy on our team.” So I went to train all grade 8 summer with him and then I came on the team in grade 9. We didn't have a season in grade 9, though, because it was COVID. So grade 10 was my first real year, so this is my first full year on St. Martin SS (PEDSDMD Elite).
PI: What would you say are the team’s goals?
SA: Hopefully win a championship in the OSBA. Hopefully we can win some more games and just continue to play as a team.
PI: Do you have a specific training regimen? Who do you train with?
SA: I have a few different trainers. I have Coach Jerome. I have Coach Rich. All through COVID, I was with Coach Rich. All this past summer. I was with Jerome. He's my AAU coach, as well. Usually it's different between each coach. With Jerome, it’s more like a schedule, it's more planned. At the start, we do some form shooting, some hook shots. Then we do some post moves like back downs, fade-away shots, just getting my shot ready. Then we usually do some spot-up shots, a whole lot of threes, some dribble threes, and then some cardio shots like threes and mid-ranges. That's really it for like an hour session I would say. And then working out just at school, right now. We've got a strength coach. It's really different every day, so yeah.
PI: What is your recruitment update?
SA: I got an offer from Ohio first, UMBC last summer, and then Illinois. That's it for right now. And then just been on five unofficial visits. I have been to UCF, Western Michigan, Michigan, Michigan State, and Harvard.
PI: Who have you been hearing from the most, lately?
SA: To be honest, like lots of schools. Not like a few in particular. A lot more bigger schools are coming out since the Illinois offer. A lot more schools started to message my coaches and my parents, as well.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
SA: Just really consider how well I fit into the program, how well the coach knows me, my game style, so he's not going to just play me in a different position or not how my style of play goes. I want to be in the gym 24/7 so I need full access to that all the time and just really need to mesh well with the team.
PI: There are a lot more alternative options available these days with G League Ignite, OTE, and NBL, among others. Would you be open to such opportunities?
SA: Yeah for sure. Definitely Overtime Elite would be cool, just not too sure how all that stuff works out. Like it's pretty big, you're getting a lot of money when you're a kid, so I wouldn't know how to act if that opportunity came up.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
SA: I guess just video games, really just basketball. It’s just basketball right now to be honest. Basketball, eating, sleeping.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
SA: No, I don't even listen to music. Nothing. No music. Like if they're playing pregame music, that's the pregame music in the warm ups. That's it. Just gotta stay focused.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
SA: Oh my God. I don't even know. I guess this guy is good with hashtags (pointing to one of his coaches). This guy uses for me, #BuiltDifferent (laughter erupts). That’s what he says 24/7. I guess that's all.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
SA: Alright I’ll bring these three coaches here (laughter). We've got the basketball pavement, the basketball hoop, and the basketball. Those are my three things besides my coaches.
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
SA: I really want to just stay with basketball, so I'd want to be a physiotherapist or I'd want to be a basketball trainer, like a skills trainer, stuff like that.
PI: Have you thought about what you plan to major in?
SA: Yeah, I'm interested in business right now, like accounting. But that's really it. Yeah, business I would say is what I would major in.
PI: What is your dream NIL deal and why?
SA: I don't know, probably just something like Gatorade. Yeah, something simple like that. He loves his Gatorade (says a coach). Or maybe like a shoe brand? I do like Jordan. That would be nice. You did like how they fit (mentioned by the same coach). Some Nike shoes, I guess. Paul Georges, I'm not wearing them right now. That's my favorite shoe. I like the 5s, but they don't sell them anymore, so I can't get my Paul George 5s, anymore. Mine are so old. That’s why I'm not wearing them right now. They're all ripped and everything. I wore them so much.
PI: What is your shoe size?
SA: Depends on the shoe, but right now it's 14 or 15.
PI: What is the biggest misconception about you or something that most people have no idea about you?
SA: Too focused in games and stuff like that. Everyone says I have composure in games, just don't show my emotions, but I can show my emotions. I’m also a three-year honor roll student.
PI: Besides the NBA, where do you see yourself in five years?
SA: Oh my God. That's when I'm like 21, so… I don't even know. Maybe I own a business or something like that. Hopefully I have a lot of money. You like stocks a lot (says a coach). Have a house. Hopefully buy a house.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
SA: Two for basketball would be pace and shooter. The other two are determined and focused.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
SA: As a player, I hope to be remembered for being a good teammate, decent player on the court, in college, hopefully in the NBA — hopefully make it there. Hopefully I’ll be remembered as a Team Canada player.