Orlando Mendez-Valdez was born and raised in the West Side of San Antonio,Texas. He has been a professional basketball player for eight seasons. He last played for Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Premier League in the 2016-2017 season after spending the first seven years of his career in the Mexican LNBP League. Orlando has also played for the Mexican National Team throughout his professional career.
Orlando graduated from Lanier High School where he starred on the Voks basketball team. When he was not offered an NCAA basketball scholarship, Orlando attended Charis Prep in Goldsboro, North Carolina for a year after graduating from Lanier. His accomplishments at Charis caught the attention of numerous Division 1 schools and he ultimately accepted a basketball scholarship from Western Kentucky University.
Orlando played on Sunbelt Conference championship teams his junior and senior years at WKU. The Hilltoppers qualified for the NCAA tournament both years where they advanced to the second round and Sweet Sixteen. While at WKU, Orlando compiled numerous individual awards. He graduated with a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis on physical education in 2009.
After a stellar career at WKU, Orlando signed with the Halcones of Xalapa, Veracruz in Mexico’s LNBP league where he played for six seasons and won a championship before leaving as a free agent to sign with the Pioneros in Cancun. He helped the Pioneros win a title in his only season with the team. Having won two championships with different teams, Orlando decided it was time for a new challenge. He accepted an offer from Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Premier League and helped lead the Greens to the championship game where they fell short.
When he’s not on a basketball court, he’s spending time with his college sweetheart, Aquila, and their two daughters Cora and Issa. He enjoys Netflix documentary binges, listening to real estate podcasts, and traveling whenever possible.
We admire the work that Orlando does for the youth that live in the same community that he grew up in. He shows and inspires them to believe in their dreams!