None other than Denzel Valentine is both shooting guard and small forward for the Chicago Bulls. A native of Michigan, he began his basketball career at J. W. Sexton High School and had the privilege of being coached by his own father.
He later played college basketball for the State of Michigan. During his senior season, Denzel was named National Player of the Year by The Associated Press, making him the first player in Michigan history to receive this award. His professional career began with the Bulls in 2016 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 on November 16, 1993, in Lansing, Michigan, 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 followed ever since. Carlton is a former Michigan State player and later coached basketball at J. W. Sexton High School in Lansing, Michigan, from where Junior Valentine began his career.
Drew played college basketball at the University of Oakland and is currently an assistant coach at Loyola University in Chicago.
High School and College Basketball Career
As mentioned above, Denzel Valentine attended J. W. Sexton High School, where he started his basketball career. As a sophomore, he led the Sexton to a state title game. At the end of this season, he averaged 6.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 10.9 points and also earned the honorable mention of Class B of the All-State 2010.
As a senior, he averaged 9 assists, 11 rebounds, 14 points, and led the team 27-1 and was voted Player of the Year by both Lansing State Journal and the Associated Press. Rivals.com ranked him 81st, 15 Shooting Guard in the 100 Best Player of the Year list, 98th on ESPNU100, 26 Small Forward, and 27 Small Forward on the Scout.com ranking.
After high school, Denzel played Valentine College Basketball in the state of Michigan, where he won MSU’s Unsung Player Award as a freshman and the honorable All-Big Ten award as a sophomore. As a junior, he received several awards, including the USBWA All-District V, NCAA East Regional All-Tourament Team Honors, Orlando Classic All-Tourament Team Third Team All-Big Ten.
In his senior year, he received many more awards and honors and also won the school’s 1st College Basketball Player of the Year award. Valentine was also the fourth player in the school’s history to achieve a triple-double.
At the end of his senior season, Denzel Valentine went from being a potentially undeveloped player to a very viable candidate for the 2016 NBA Draft, was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the fourteenth member of the draft list, and signed a contract with the team as a rookie.
Two days later Denzel played with the team in the Summer League Championship game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, which ended with an 84-82 win in overtime. In his first career, he doubled in a game against Utah Jazz, scoring twelve rebounds and twenty-six points. As a rookie, he was sent to Chicago’s D-League subsidiary, the Windy City Bulls, as a single player. He ended his 2018 season early 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 a member of the U.S. National Men’s Basketball Team, which represented the nation at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, and returned with a bronze medal. He was also a member of the U.S. basketball team that trained against the Rio 2016 Olympic Team.
His Height and Weight
Valentine stands at a height of 1.95 m (6 ft 4 in) with a well-built athletic body that weighs 221 pounds, or 100 kg. Although his other stats are not readily available, it is obvious that his height, 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 in the ABC dance competition series Dancing With the Stars” and had the privilege of being taught by two amazing professional dancers, Edyta Slivinska and Artem Chigvintsev.
For him, his NBA colleague Draymond Green, who also played college basketball at Michigan State, is a big brother.