Spanarkel was a First Team Acclaim All American, in addition the First Team All-ACC and the first 2000 point scorer in the history of his alma mater, Duke University. He was named Duke's team MVP for his final three seasons, 1977, 1978, and 1979. Spanarkel was also team captain in his junior and senior years, and was announced NCAA's East Regional Most Outstanding Player in 1978. He graduated from Duke in 1979.
Jim Spanarkel has worked over 20 years as Nets television analyst (currently on the YES Network), and he additionally works CBS Sports' regular season and NCAA Men's Championship college basketball coverage with Ian Eagle (analysis). He also served as a studio analyst for NBA TV. During his entire broadcasting career, he has provided basketball coverage on CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, and as of late the Brooklyn Nets on YES. In 2013, Spanarkel called the international telecasts of the 2013 NBA Finals alongside Eagle. He has also been chief commentator for the Travers Cups and various member guest tournaments at Upper Montclair. Mr. Spanarkel proudly sports a handicap of 16.7 but routinely shoots under 80.