Charlie Villanueva is a first-generation American Latino, son of Dominican immigrants, born August 24, 1984 and raised in Elmhurst, Queens. Villanueva an NBA player now for the Milwaukee Bucks, was drafted at the age of 20, seventh overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. Charlie Villanueva, best known as “Charlie V.”, enjoyed a successful rookie season last year, averaging 13.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in 81 games, 36 as a starter. He ranked second among all rookies in points and rebounds, third in blocks and minutes, seventh in field goal percentage and eighth in steals. The 6’10” forward notched 12 double-doubles last season and set Toronto rookie single-game records for points (48) and rebounds (18). His rookie campaign was further highlighted by an appearance in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend, NBA Rookie of the Month honors for the month of December 2005, and a spot on the All-NBA Rookie First Team.
He attended high school at Newtown in his hometown of Queens for his freshmen year, where he played with NBA player Smush Parker, before transferring to Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ during his sophomore year, where he played with NBA player Luol Deng and earned All-American honors as a senior as well as New Jersey Player of the Year. He entered the NBA Draft in 2003, but decided to withdraw his eligibility to attend college at the University of Connecticut.
In his first year at UConn, Villanueva was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team and was a member of the 2004 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions. In the Summer of 2004, Villanueva was a member of the gold medal-winning United States 21-and-under team at the World Championships. Villanueva attended the University of Connecticut for two seasons before becoming an early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft. Villanueva made the announcement during a press conference at Gampel Pavilion where he was joined by UConn Hall of Fame Head Coach Jim Calhoun. He was the Huskies leading scorer in his sophomore season, averaging 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds receiving second-team All-Big East honors.
He played his best ball down the stretch in 2004-05, averaging 18.2 points and 9.7 rebounds over the final ten games of the season and averaging 19.0 points and 9.5 rebounds during the NCAA Tournament. Villanueva led the team with 12 double-doubles on the year. Villanueva is the eighth UConn player to declare early for the NBA Draft, joining Donyell Marshall (1994), Ray Allen (1996), Richard Hamilton (1999), Khalid El-Amin (2000), Caron Butler (2002), Ben Gordon (2004) and Emeka Okafor (2004).
Villanueva’s most notable highlight was recorded on the night of March 26, 2006, where he set a career high and Raptors rookie record for points in a game with 48 in a 116-125 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Charlie Villanueva's 48 points was the fourth highest performance ever by a rookie. He joins an elite class of athletes: Allen Iverson (50 pts - 1997), Michael Jordan (49 pts - 1985), and Kelly Tripucka (49pts - 1992). Villanueva was voted second in the running for the 2005-06 Rookie of the Year award, finishing 2nd to Chris Paul.
On June 30, 2006, Charlie Villanueva was traded by the Toronto Raptors to the Milwaukee Bucks for point guard T.J. Ford and cash considerations.
Villanueva suffers from an autoimmune skin condition called alopecia areata which affects over 5 million North Americans. Alopecia results in hair loss on his scalp and elsewhere on his body, but the disease is not otherwise life-threatening or harmful, nor contagious. Villanueva has become a spokesman for the NAAF (National Alopecia Areata Foundation) to help others growing up with the same condition. In March 2006, the NBA recognized his efforts by giving him the prestigious league's Community Assist Award for the month of February. He also received the Community MVP award by the Toronto Raptors in October 2005 and again in November 2005.
He wears number 31 in salute of his favorite player of all time Reggie Miller.
· New Jersey State High School Player of the Year (March 2003)
· New Jersey High School All-State Selection (March 2003)
· McDonald’s High School All-American (March 2003)
· Big East Conference All-Rookie Team (March 2004)
· NCAA National Championship (April 2004)
· USA Junior World Basketball Team Gold Medalist (July 2004)
· Big East All-Conference Second Team (March 2005)
· NBA Draft Lottery Seventh Pick (June 2005)
· Toronto Raptors Community MVP Award (October 2005)
· Toronto Raptors Community MVP Award (November 2005)
· NBA Rookie of the Month (December 2005)
· NBA All-Star Rookie Challenge Selection (February 2006)
· NBA Cares Community Assist Award (February 2006)
· Toronto Raptors Rookie Record: Single-Game 48 Points (March 2006)
· Toronto Raptors Rookie Record: Single-Game 18 Rebounds (April 2006)
· NBA All-Rookie First Team Honors (May 2006)
· NBA Rookie of the Year Runner Up (May 2006)