Editor's Note: Updated with photos of Joe Valentine and friends on 1/18/15 at 3:50 p.m.
LIVINGSTON, NJ – Livingston High School (LHS) and Millburn High School (MHS) will be jointly hosting the third annual Joe Valentine Classic on Saturday, Jan. 17. Valentine was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2008 and lost his fight against cancer in 2013.
"Joe was an amazing father, husband, friend, teacher and athlete who always had a huge smile on his face," said Vincent Sexton, his high school friend.
Valentine was a 1987 graduate of Livingston High School, where he excelled in football, wrestling and baseball. Following graduation, he attended Rutgers University. Next, Valentine taught physical education at Deerfield Elementary School in Millburn and also coached football and wrestling. He was also the first girls' golf coach at MHS.
“Joe is the son of former LHS athletic director Rudy Valentine,” said Director of LHS Athletics Patrick J. Genova, in the Jan. 15 issue of the Lancer Flash News. “Joe passed away recently and because Joe is from Livingston and he taught and coached in Millburn, we felt that this would be a great way to honor him and help defray the cost of a college education for his two children.”
The basketball teams at Millburn will honor Valentine by wearing his favorite color, orange.
All proceeds from donations collected at the gate during the varsity wrestling match at Livingston on Jan. 16 and the boys' and girls' basketball games held at Millburn on Jan. 17 will go to the Valentine family, which includes his sons Jackson and Caden and wife Heidi.
In addition, according to an article on TAP into Millburn, there will be a shooting contest at halftime of the games. For $1, guests will be able to buy a chance to test their shooting skills. If they sink the shot they win a prize. Saturday's games will pit Millburn against Livingston.
Basketball Schedule for Saturday, Jan. 17 at MHS
- 10:00 a.m.—Livingston Boys Freshmen vs. Millburn Boys Freshmen and Livingston Girls Freshmen vs. Millburn Girls Freshmen
- 11:30 a.m.—Livingston Boys JV vs. Millburn Boys JV and Livingston Girls JV vs. Millburn Girls JV
- 1:00 p.m.—Livingston Boys Varsity vs. Millburn Boys Varsity
- 2:30 p.m.—Livingston Girls Varsity vs. Millburn Girls Varsity
Aside from this Classic, Valentine’s lifelong friends Stanley Banner, Eddie Frayne, Larry Garb and Bruce Kaufman held the First Annual Joe Valentine Memorial Softball Tournament in Aug. 2014 at Mt. Pleasant Middle School in Livingston to raise funds for the Jackson and Caden Valentine Trust.