NEWBERRY - Newberry College head men's basketball coach Dave Davis has announced the signing of shooting guard Rob Valentine, of Richmond, Va., who transfers in after two seasons at Virginia Union.
Valentine was the team rookie of the year as a freshman at VUU and shot 41% from the three-point line as a sophomore. In high school at Armstrong HS, Valentine played for Newberry alumnus Sam Bryant, where he had an outstanding senior year. He was named All-State, All-Region, All-Metro and made the All-Conference team while averaging 20.8 points per game. An outstanding shooter, Valentine made eight three-pointers in a game and made seven three-pointers on two different occasions, as well as scoring 37 points in his final high school game against John Marshall HS and fellow Newberry signee and Richmond native Quaman Burton.
Valentine scored over 1,200 points in his high school career and played in the Virginia High School Athletic Association All-Star Game as well as the 804 All-Star Game where he was the Springer Showcase Player of the Game. Valentine won the Christopher J. Foster Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence and was also the 2014 Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year.
"Rob Valentine is a perfect fit for Newberry basketball," said Davis. "He can really shoot the basketball and shoot it from deep. He has passion for this game and he wants to run. It almost seemed destined for him to be here, as I learned about him from a Newberry basketball alumnus right about the time Quaman Burton contacted us about wanting to join us.
"These two young men knew each other their entire lives, played AAU together in Richmond, and had joked about playing together in college, but neither knew we were recruiting the other. Rob’s high school coach Sam Bryant - who I had never met - contacted former Newberry teammate Josh Pratt - who I have known forever - and Josh gave me the heads up on Rob looking for a new home.
"Sam graduated Newberry in 1994 and played with many teammates who have gone on to great success in coaching—Scott Gardner at Newberry Academy, Chad Cary at Newberry HS, Josh Pratt at Towson Catholic and Archbishop Spalding, Rob Moxley at N.C. State, Maryland and UNC-Charlotte and Michael Longabardi currently with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"To take this connect the dots even a step further, I only knew Josh Pratt because he played junior college for one of the best coaches I have ever known - Newberry basketball alumnus Steve Hobson at Montgomery College in Maryland. Josh along with Rob Moxley, were heavily influenced to transfer to Newberry College by coach Hobson, who had an incredibly successful coaching career, went the National Junior College Tournament 11 times, coached two guys who went to play in the NBA and taught life more than the game.”
“At Newberry College, I grew as a student-athlete, but most importantly as a man," said 1994 Newberry College graduate Sam Bryant. "I'm glad Rob has chosen Newberry and I feel confident that he's in great hands. Just as I was able to mature and excel, he will be afforded the chance to do the same. I'm proud Rob will attend my alma mater and I'm excited to see him shine!
"Not only can Rob Valentine shoot the lights out the gym and is a great teammate, he's an outstanding young man in both the classroom and in his community. Whether he's giving his time to the neighborhood kids at the local Boys and Girls Club or working out with the basketball team at his alma mater, Armstrong HS, he consistently hones his craft and in doing so he shines as a man, a student athlete and as a role model.”