In 1981, Phoenix Suns' center Chris Dudley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
at the age of 16. He never thought for one second, however, that the disease would interfere with his dream to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Today, Dudley is enjoying his 14th year as a professional basketball player.
Dudley has been long-regarded as a great defensive player. In 1999, when he was a member of the New York Knicks, he played in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
Dudley's work ethic as an athlete on the court is paralleled only by a work ethic as a type 1
off the court. He sticks by a strict regimen of insulin
and diet, and tests a minimum of four times per day. Dudley works to keep his blood sugars
around 100 mg/dl.
"With diabetes, it's helpful when you get into a routine. It's the times when that routine is changed that you really have to watch yourself," said Dudley in a June 1999 interview with DIABETES HEALTH.
Dudley gives back to the diabetes community by running the Chris Dudley Basketball Camp in Vernonia, Oregon, where children with diabetes can learn about basketball and proper diabetes control.
Dudley learned at an early age that having type 1 diabetes does not prevent you from doing what everybody else does.
"If you want to play sports, you can play sports," he says. "Don't let diabetes stop you. But, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't take care of your condition."
For more information on the Chris Dudley Basketball Camp, call (503) 626-4007.