May 22nd, 2010 | Sports

Former Bulldog Dudley ’87 wins Rep. gov. primary in Oregon

(Photo: New York Daily News)

Yet another Yale grad is making his way into the world of politics — this one just so happens to be a former NBA player.

Former Yale basketball star Chris Dudley ’87 won Oregon’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Wednesday, earning 40 percent of the vote against eight other candidates, The Associated Press reported. Dudley, who lives in Lake Oswego, Ore., will now face Democrat John Kitzhaber in the general election on Nov. 2 to replace Democrat Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who is stepping down after two terms.

The 6-foot-11 Dudley, who played center for five NBA teams — including twice for the hometown Portland Trail Blazers — over a 16-year career, announced his entry into the race in December. By March he had raised more than $1 million with the help of Nike co-founder Phil Knight.

At Yale, Dudley was a first team All-Ivy League pick three times, leading his team in scoring and rebounding in his junior and senior seasons and finishing second all-time at Yale in rebounding, according to the NBA. An economics and political science double major in Timothy Dwight College, Dudley was only the the sixth Bulldog ever drafted to the NBA.

Since retiring from the NBA in 2003, he has worked in the financial services and wealth management industry, written a children’s book with his wife and helped children with diabetes through the Chris Dudley Foundation. (Dudley was diagnosed with the disease when he was 16.)

Still, Dudley has a steep hill ahead of him: A Democrat has called Oregon’s governor’s mansion, Mahonia Hall, home since 1987.