This post is about a true college basketball superstar, Ronnie Valentine, from ODU/Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia…
Valentine played college hoops for the ODU Monarchs in the late 70’s/early 80’s and he holds the school record for total career points, with 2,204 and he scored 36 points as college freshman, as ODU topped the Georgetown Hoyas….For his college career, Valentine averaged 21.4 ppg and 9.8 rebounds per contest….
Ronnie Valentine ended up with the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, lasted a season with Denver, and then he played in Europe and for minor league teams and then he vanished…That’s right, around 1990, he just disappeared…
Harry Minium, a sports writer/reporter with the Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Virginia, heard about Ronnie Valentine and how he had gone missing and he decided to do some digging and he went looking for Valentine…
The word was Ronnie Valentine was living on the streets in Miami, Florida and he had been homeless and dealing with a life on the streets for over 20 years….
Harry Minium was really stunned and literally shocked when he began to learn more about Ronnie Valentine and Valentine’s trip down the road to disparity….
*****from Harry Minium at the Virginian-Pilot:*****
How had this happened to a guy who’d made it to the NBA? And how did so many people in his hometown not know that one of the best athletes to come out of our community was homeless?
Former ODU teammate Ronnie McAdoo(Hillsborough Orange High School), who runs a ministry in Charlotte, shared those questions. “What took you so long?” was his response when I called inquiring about Valentine.
Eddie Fraim, Valentine’s coach at Norfolk Catholic High School, said he was “a really good person” whom he missed terribly.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever see Ronnie again,” he said. “I hope I do.”
I vowed to somehow find Valentine and tell his story. The search took me to some of Miami’s most downtrodden neighborhoods, where your senses are overwhelmed by the smell of urine, the oppressive heat, the utter misery of people living on the streets.
This is one of those good ones, a real strong story and you can catch/read it all from Harry Minium, at the Virginian-Pilot, when you
**********This might be the best read I have seen this week….Be sure to check it out……**********