Renaldo Balkman was born in Staten Island, New York. He attended Laurinburg Institute (N.C.) before signing to play basketball for Coach Dave Odom and the Gamecocks. Balkman was a main cog in USC’s back-to-back NIT Championships in 2005 and 2006. In fact, the 6’ 8” Balkman was named MVP of the 2006 NIT. Renaldo was best known for his defense, rebounding, and scrappy play. He became a big fan favorite in Columbia.
Renaldo had career averages of 7.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.1 BPG. Most impressively, Balkman made 61% of his shots during the 2005-06 season, the second-highest mark ever at USC. In addition, his 55% career FGs made is the fifth-highest of any Gamecock player.
Renaldo Balkman also had the great honor of being a first-round NBA draft pick by the New York Knicks in 2006.