Aug. 23, 2011
BERKELEY - This article appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of the Cal Sports Quarterly
There is little doubt Cal men's water polo player Brian Dudley has taken full advantage of his experience as a Golden Bear student-athlete, and even less doubt about the successes he achieved since arriving at the Berkeley campus from South Africa in 2005.
Having ventured from a small private school on the other side of the world to the top-rated public university in the United States, Dudley took advantage of all that Cal had to offer, and his abilities in the pool and classroom helped him earn a Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarship.
Dudley completed his degree requirements with the Haas School of Business this past spring and is already employed fulltime at GCA Savvian, an investment banking firm in San Francisco. With his scholarship money, he plans to pursue an MBA after a couple of years in the financial services industry.
"I have always liked the quote I heard said from former Cal water polo coach Pete Cutino, `Some people believe sports builds character, but I contend that sports reveal character.'" Dudley told a gathering of Golden Bears at the annual Academic Honors Luncheon in May when he was the featured student-athlete speaker. "I have always believed that statement is true. To be honored by the University and the Cal athletic department is wonderful, but in the end the honor, really, has been all mine."
Born in Johannesburg to an American mother and South African father, Dudley attended St. John's High School, an all-boys' school, and had contemplated going to college in the United States on a similarly conservative Ivy League campus.
However, his plans changed when Cal head coach Kirk Everist spotted Dudley competing for a club team at the 2005 Navy Open in Annapolis, Md. Everist quickly offered him a recruiting visit to Cal.
"When I saw the diversity, I knew it was a place I could grow as a person," Dudley said of his initial campus visit. "Both my mother (Kate McMahon) and my father (Frank Dudley) were in business, so I knew that was what I wanted to study in school. I was a little bit of a risk coming from so far away, but Kirk took a chance on me."
Any risk Everist took more than paid off. Dudley was a member of the Bears' NCAA championship teams in 2006 and 2007. This past fall, he was elected a team captain and led Cal to a national runner-up finish, scoring two goals in the title match. A Rhodes Scholar candidate in 2010, Dudley finished his collegiate career as a three-time All-American and national All-Academic selection and plans to vie for a spot on the South African Olympic team for 2012.
In addition to his water polo and classroom work, Dudley managed to find time to volunteer his services as the Co-Director of The Sage Project at Manzanita Seed Primary School, where Cal students would mentor underprivileged Bay Area children. He also continues to volunteer for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, as well as the American Red Cross.
"Brian is the definition of the complete student-athlete," Everist said. "He was an All-American as a player and in the classroom. He was a team captain and always led by example. Brian left our program better for having had him as a member of the Cal water polo family."