Former guard Darnell Valentine was one of the most prolific scorers in Kansas basketball history. He currently ranks sixth all-time in points (1,821) after his four years with the program, from 1977-81.
Because of his efforts, Valentine earned All-American honors in 1981, as well as a first-team All-Big eight player in each of his four seasons. He averaged 15.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in his career at Kansas under former coach Ted Owens, including a career-high 16.5 points per game his junior season.
Despite consistently scoring at a high level, Valentine was known for excellence on defense. He is Kansas’ all-time leader in steals, with 336.
Valentine’s jersey was retired by Kansas on Jan. 1, 2005.
"Darnell was very good offensively," Owens said when Valentine’s jersey was retired, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. "But the thing that set him apart ... the whole defense started with him. When the opponent's point guard had trouble penetrating, when teams had trouble running the offense, it was because of Darnell.”
One of 32 Jayhawks with a jersey retired in Allen Fieldhouse, Danny Manning garnered many awards, including a national championship, as a forward. The All-American standout played under Larry Brown from 1985-88.
The 6-foot-1 guard, who graduated from Wichita Heights High School in Wichita, led the Jayhawks to a 24-5 overall record in his freshman year, but the team lost to UCLA, 83-76, in the first round.
In his senior year, Valentine led Kansas to a 24-8 overall record, but the Jayhawks were defeated by Wichita State, 66-65, in the Sweet Sixteen.
At the time, Valentine said it was an honor to find out his jersey was being retired.
"It's a culmination of 24 years of everything coming together," Valentine said, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. "It has to be. In terms of what the University has done for me in my life, preparing me for things I'm doing now ... I wouldn't rank it with my marriage or daughter and family, but it's right up there."
After graduating from Kansas, Valentine was drafted No. 16 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1981 NBA draft. He averaged 8.7 points, 5.0 assists and 2.1 rebounds in nine NBA seasons with the Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
He briefly served as the Trail Blazers’ Director of Player Programs in 2004 after retiring from playing in 1991.
Since 2007, he has worked as a vice president at Precision Castparts, a Fortune 500 manufacturing company in Portland. He works on employee development.