Denzel Robert Valentine is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Valentine attended J. W. Sexton High School and played his high school basketball for Sexton. In his sophomore year, he led Sexton to a state title game averaging 10.9 points, 5.8 assists and 6.3 rebounds for the season for which he was named in the 2010 Class B honorable mention all-state.
As a senior, Valentine averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists per game leading Sexton to a 27-1 record. For the season, Valentine was selected as the Lansing State Journal Player of the Year as well as the Associated Press Class B Player of the Year. He decided to play his college basketball for Michigan State.
After a successful freshman season, Valentine was voted on by the players as MSU's Unsung Player. He also earned an honorable mention in the All-Big Ten by the coaches and media. In his junior year, Valentine was named to the Orlando Classic All-Tournament Team. In 2015, senior Valentine recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists and became the 4th player in Michigan State to do so. He finished the 2015-16 season with 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game as MSU finished in second place in the Big Ten.
Valentine was named as the National Player of the Year by USA Today and was also named to the Sporting News All-American Team. He also earned Big Ten’s Player of the Year Award by and also won Michigan State’s College Basketball of the Year award. Playing the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, he earned the Most Outstanding Player award as Michigan won its fifth championship.
Valentine was selected as the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. In 2017, he scored 39 points including 6 three-pointers in a 101–99 loss to the Washington Wizards. He repeated the same to tie his career high 39 points, hitting eight 3-pointers in a 114–109 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Valentine had to undergo a knee surgery which ended his 2018 season.