Valentine signs with Bryan College
Published 11:49 am Thursday, May 7, 2015
BY COLLIN BROOKS
It didn’t take long for Stanley Valentine to get comfortable at Hampton when he transferred there and it shouldn’t take him long to get comfortable at college either.
Valentine signed to play basketball with Bryan College Wednesday in front of friends, family and coaches in the Hampton High School library.
“When I went down there for my visit, the guys were really nice,” Valentine said. “They were all really caring guys, and they wanted me to come down there because they knew that we could be something special.
“I liked the campus and I liked the people. Everything down there was so beautiful, and it kind of reminded me of a bigger version of Hampton.”
The Bryan coaching staff is hoping Valentine’s efficiency will be similar to his time at Hampton, where he scored more than 1,000 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds in his career. He manned almost every position at Hampton, but as a Lion, he is expected to spend a lot of his time as a small forward and possibly at the power forward spot.
“We are really excited to sign him, and we have seen him play quite a bit over the course of the year,” Bryan coach Don Rekoske said. “The young man has a big motor and is athletic, and he just has a desire to get better. Once you get to the college level, that is crucial.”
Rekoske and his assistant coach Bryon Lawhon were on hand to watch their newest signee make things official. He also brought with him a packet that details Valentine’s summer workout.
“I gave him his workout early today, and I know that he is going to get right at it,” Rekoske said. “At the college level, you are either working or you are getting passed up by guys that are out working you.”
That work ethic is something that became expected of Valentine during his high school career, and his coach Ned Smith always knew he could count on him.
“He brought a lot to our program, with his all around game, and a great enthusiasm,” Smith said. “He is a great athlete and his skill level is just going to get better everyday.”
Valentine, who plans on double-majoring in criminal justice and psychology, knows he will have to work for all he wants to achieve in college.
“I’m not going up there just to sit the bench,”
Valentine said, “I am going up there to work hard and become a starter, because I know that I am capable of doing that.”
The former Bulldog says he will have a little extra motivation after he says he was passed on by some local schools, including Milligan.
“I want to beat Milligan all four years,” Valentine said. “They kind of overlooked me and didn’t think that I had what it takes to play at Milligan. … That is going to motivate me the next four years.”
The mention of grabbing a kid from a conference rival’s backyard brought a smile to Rekoske’s face.
“They are a big rival, and this year we battled them,” he said. “We finished fourth and they finished second. We’d like to make that gap go our way this year. So it’s good to get one away from them, I guess.”
Valentine is a piece that might make that bridge happen.