Doubling as both a shooting guard and a Small forward for the Chicago Bulls is none other than Denzel Valentine. The Michigan native began his basketball career with J. W. Sexton High School and had the privilege of being coached by his own father.
He would later play college basketball for Michigan State. During his senior season, Denzel was named the National Player of the Year by The Associated Press, becoming the first player in the history of Michigan to earn the award. His pro career began in 2016 with the Bulls and has remained with them ever since. Learn more about him below.
Here is Everything You Need To Know About Denzel Valentine
Family and Birth
He was born in Lansing, Michigan on the 16th of November 1993 as Denzel Robert Valentine. His parents are Carlton and Kathy Valentine and he has an older brother named Drew Valentine.
Denzel’s father set the pace in sports which his two sons have since followed. Carlton is a former Michigan State player and would later coach basketball at J. W. Sexton High School, Lansing, Michigan, where the junior Valentine began his career from.
Drew played college basketball at Oakland University and is currently serving as an assistant coach at Loyola University, Chicago.
High School and College Basketball Career
As earlier mentioned, Denzel Valentine attended J. W. Sexton High School where he kicked off his basketball career. He led the Sexton to a state title game as a sophomore. At the end of that season, he recorded an average of 6.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 10.9 points and also earned the 2010 Class B honorable mention all-state.
As a senior, he averaged 9 assists, 11 rebounds, and 14 points to lead the team in a 27-1 record. Both the Lansing State Journal and the Associated Press selected him for the player of the Year Awards. Rivals.com ranked him #81, #15 shooting guard in their list of top 100 players for that year, on ESPNU100 he ranked #98, #26 small forward and #27 small forward on Scout.com ranking.
After high school, Denzel Valentine played college basketball at Michigan State where he earned the MSU’s Unsung Player Award as a freshman and the honorable-mention All-Big Ten as a sophomore. As a junior, he earned several awards including the USBWA All-District V, NCAA East Regional All-Tournament Team honors, Orlando Classic All-Tournament Team Third Team All-Big Ten, among others.
During his senior year, he became a recipient of many more awards and honors and also won the school’s 1st College Basketball Player of the Year Award. Valentine equally became the fourth player in the history of the school to record a triple-double.
At the end of his senior season, Denzel Valentine went from being potentially undrafted to be considered a very viable pick for the 2016 NBA draft. He was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the fourteenth overall in the draft and he signed a rookie scale contract with the team.
Two days later, Denzel played with the team at the Summer League championship game against the Minnesota Timberwolves which ended in an 84–82 overtime win. He made his first career double-double in a game against Utah Jazz, recording twelve rebounds and twenty-six points. As a rookie, he was sent to Chicago’s D-League affiliate, Windy City Bulls severally. He ended his 2018 season prematurely after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee. His annual salary as of 2018 is $2,280,600.
National Team Career
Denzel Valentine was part of the U.S senior men’s national basketball team that represented the nation at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada which returned with the bronze medal. He was also part of the U.S Basketball Select Team that trained against the 2016 Rio Olympic team.
His Height and Weight
Valentine stands at a height of 6 ft 4 in ( 1.95 m) with a well-built athletic body that weighs 221 Ibs, that is 100kg. Although his other stats are not readily available, it is, however, obvious that his size; height, and weight also contribute to his impressive performance on the court.
Denzel Valentine wears Jersey No. 45.
Densel and coach Tom Izzo were once guests on ABC’s dance competition series – Dancing With the Stars and had the privilege of being taught by two amazing professional dancers Edyta Sliwinska and Artem Chigvintsev.
He considers fellow NBA player Draymond Green, who also played college basketball at Michigan State a big brother.