October 3, 1948 |
Newport Beach, California
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||185 lb (84 kg)|
|High school||Corona del Mar
(Newport Beach, California)
|NBA draft||1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14th overall|
|Selected by the Atlanta Hawks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
As a 6'2" forward for Orange Coast College, Vallely averaged 26 points per game and broke 18 scoring records. He was selected a junior college All-American. He dribbled with his left hand and shot with his right hand. He was especially good at shooting an outside jump shot.
Vallely was an integral member of the Bruins' backcourt after transferring from Orange Coast College in 1968. Vallely was quick to make the transition from forward to guard at UCLA. In his first season, he was the Bruins' third leading scorer (12.9 p.p.g.) and adapted smoothly to head coach John Wooden's "attack and gamble offense". He was a member of the UCLA teams that won national titles in the 1969 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and the 1970 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Vallely majored in economics at UCLA and had a 3.36 grade point average as a junior.
He was taken by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 1970 NBA Draft. He sat on the bench much of the time, playing behind Pete Maravich, Lou Hudson, Walt Hazzard, and Herm Gilliam. Vallely was acquired by the Houston Rockets in November 1971 along with 6'7" forward Jim Davis.
Marriage and family
Vallely married Karen, a woman he met at Orange Coast College, where he studied prior to attending UCLA. They wed around the time he was selected in the NBA. The couple had two children, Eric and Erin. Erin died of a rare form of cancer of the soft muscle tissue in September 1991. Eric starred as a volleyball player while he was a student at UCLA.
Vallely was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2003. He had a single stem cell treatment which was unsuccessful. He received a second offer from a stem cell donor bank, which received a nearly exact match from a winemaker who lived near Frankfurt, Germany. This time the treatment was a success. Vallely was able to meet his donor following a two-year waiting period.
- "UCLA's Vallely: Pride of Balboa", Los Angeles Times, January 23, 1969, pg. E1.
- "Opportunity Knocks for County's Vallely", Los Angeles Times, November 10, 1971, pg. E20A.
- Cancer Survivor John Vallely steps beyond recovery, Los Angeles Times, October 21, 2011, Internet article.