Rugged center Chris Dudley is consistently one of the NBA’s better rebounders and shotblockers and one of its worst free throw shooters. Christen Guilford “Chris” Dudley born February 22, 1965. He played for 16 years and 886 games in the NBA for five different teams. A journeyman center, he was known primarily for his defensive skill as a rebounder and shot blocker. In 2010, he was the Republican nominee for Governor of Oregon.
Quote: “If you want to play sports, you can play sports. Don’t let diabetes stop you. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care of your condition.”
As a teenager, former NBA player Chris Dudley played on the basketball team for Torrey Pines High School in California. After graduating, he attended Yale University and became a three-time First Team All-Ivy League selection. Dudley finished college with a degree in economics and political science, but dreamed of entering the NBA.
He began playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1987-1988 NBA season. Due to an immense amount of injuries, Dudley was often traded during his career, and thus played for several NBA teams. The different teams include the New Jersey Nets, the Portland Trail Blazers, The New York Knicks, and the Phoenix Suns.
At 6’ 11”, Chris Dudley was an exceptional defender known for strong rebound and shot-blocking capabilities. His ability to play in 886 games while living with diabetes earned him a lot of respect.
Dudley has taken insulin since 1981 when he was diagnosed with diabetes; he was only sixteen. The disease, however, did not quench his desire to play.
In 1998, Dudley started the Chris Dudley Foundation so he could motivate young people with diabetes to pursue active lifestyles. The Foundation includes sports camps and clinics that teach young teens how to successfully balance sports with diabetes management.
Known for his charitable work, Dudley won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award and USA Today’s Most Caring Athlete Award. Dudley has donated money to help fund Yale’s basketball program, as well as sponsored a class of fourth graders to attend college through the “I Have a Dream Foundation.”
More recently, Dudley has attempted to enter politics. In 2010, he won the Republican nomination for Governor of Oregon, but later lost the November election to a former two-term Oregon governor.