Ray has been deeply involved in basketball for decades as a coach and player, winning high school championships, preparing players for the NBA draft, and coaching internationally. He played basketball for Abraham Lincoln High School in the Denver Public Schools League and was a 1996 CHSAA All-State basketball team member. He then played collegiate ball at New Mexico Highlands University in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
After his playing career concluded at Highlands, he returned to Lincoln High as a coach and educator, under then Athletic Director and current co-CEO of Denver Prep Academy, Domonic Martinez. While coaching at Lincoln High, Valdez won two State Championships and guided his players towards becoming the best they could be.
His time at Lincoln created opportunities to extend his coaching career into the AAU level at clubs like Colorado Select and Colorado Pump and Run. Both of these programs competed at the highest level in the nation. At this time, Coach Valdez was also invited to work alongside top collegiate coaches such as Rick Pitino (University of Louisville), Kelvin Sampson (Universities of Oklahoma and Houston, Rick Majerus (University of Utah), and many others.
Following his time at Lincoln, Coach Valdez coached under Rudy Carey at Denver East High School and then transitioned to Denver West High School. He also coached the Colorado Hawks on the Adidas Gauntlet Tour.
Coach Valdez then took a break from high school coaching and worked in NBA Draft preparation for some of the top agencies in the world. He worked for Justin Zanik (General Manager of the Utah Jazz) at ASM Sports and under Darren Matsubara of Wasserman Media. Following this, he then coached the Mexican National University Team while they prepared for the World University Games in Shenzen, China.