The Real Cagers

West 4th: Where Players Test Their Mettle

West 4th is the kind of place where it's never too late to dream. Take the case of Chaz Dudley, who recalls briefly playing for Tark the Shark's UNLV Runnin' Rebels more than 20 years ago. Injured after only two games, Dudley says, he returned to New York, where he finished his career at Baruch College and spent a few years playing pro in Italy.

Chaz Hoop has made it to six Final Fours and three championship games in the past nine seasons of the West 4th Street League, and Dudley thinks this is his team's year. That would ease some old hurts for the coach.

photo: Neil Murphy

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"I went from playing on TV in front of 20,000 fans in Vegas to playing in front of empty seats and three fat cheerleaders at Baruch," says Dudley, looking smooth in a salt-and-pepper blazer and black slacks. "It was rough."

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