James was born in Ocala, Florida and raised in Hauppauge, on Long Island, New York. He was one of 6 children. It was on Long Island that James began skating and playing ice hockey in Commack where his father was employed as the manager of an ice rink. James was the first African-American to play in the NHL when he debuted with the Sabres. While James was the first African-American to play in the NHL, he wasn't the first to be exclusively trained in the country; that milestone did not occur until 1996, when Mike Grier made his NHL debut. James was the first native-born Floridian to play in the NHL.
This site contains all information about Val James Quotes.