Don’t Let Diabetes Stop You’

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, exercise 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.

Top 10 Tips for Young Diabetic Athletes
by Chris Dudley, Center for the Phoenix Suns

  1. TEST, don’t guess!
  2. TEST, don’t guess!
  3. TEST, don’t guess!
  4. Be prepared to deal with every situation. Put together a protocol that will help you treat your highs and lows.
  5. Keep a log to maintain control of your diabetes. This will help educate you in what your body needs. This way you can adjust confidently and have increased control.
  6. Drink water and stay hydrated.
  7. Maintain foot care.
  8. Develop a food plan for different activity levels. Exercise, diet and taking good care of yourself are all part of being a successful athlete.
  9. Develop a routine that fits your needs, and incorporate steps 1 through 8 in your plans. Plan. Prepare. Succeed!
  10. Have open communication with your coach or trainer. This enhances trust and provides a baseline for you and your coach to successfully control your diabetes while focusing on your athletic skills.

Good luck,

C Create a plan.
H Have tools to test and treat.
R Routine is the key. Make sure you develop one.
I Increase control.
S Succeed and reach for your dreams.

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