Boys Basketball – Week 1 Player of the Week Winner: Nick Valentino, Red Bank
Seaview Orthopaedics Week 1 Player of the Week
Nick Valentino, Red Bank
Red Bank continues to play with top returning scorer Patrick Murray sidelined by a hamstring injury and if that was not enough of a challenge, the Bucs have had to face the likes of Toms River North, Rumson-Fair Haven and Christian Brothers Academy in consecutive games. For those not keeping track, those are three programs that routinely appear in the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament and are no stranger to the semifinals either.
The Bucs entered Tuesday only 1-3 with three losses to those three teams, but have been competitive in the three games and have produced points without Murray. Valentino has had a whole lot to do with that, with his play in the first week of the season particularly standing out. The junior guard has elevated to the starting lineup and averaged 21.7 points in those first three games, leading Red Bank in scoring in all three – including 26 out of his team’s 53 points in a road loss to Toms River North.
Valentino also poured in 20 points in an opening-night win over Ocean and netted 19 in a 73-68 loss to Ridge Road rival Rumson-Fair Haven on Dec. 23.
The first Player of the Week contest of 2021-22 came down to a tight race between three players, with Valentino topping the field with 20.4 percent of the vote. Brick Memorial junior Josh Michigan finished close behind at 19.2 percent and Manasquan sophomore Ryan Frauenheim checked in next with 17 percent of the vote.
For winning the first Player of the Week contest, Valentino will receive a long-sleeve t-shirt courtesy of Seaview Orthopaedics and a $25 gift card to the Turning Point restaurant.