Kent M. Rapp
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Team: Water Polo

Kent M. Rapp '80
St. Louis, MO
Water Polo
Year Inducted:

Kent M. Rapp ’80 was asked what he wished to achieve in water polo. “I want to be eating my Thanksgiving dinner in southern California,” he answered without hesitation, “at the NCAA championships.” Rapp, who was captain of the Brown water polo team that year, got his wish. The squad was invited to Long Beach, California, for the NCAA Championships and finished seventh in the country. It was also a banner year on an individual level for Rapp, who as a sophomore was Brown’s first AAU All-American in water polo. He made All-American for the second time in 1979 (his senior year), as well as All-New England for the fourth straight year, and All-East first team for the second year. And, also for the second time (the first was in his freshman season) Rapp received the Marjorie B. Smith Most Valuable Player award. Rapp was a consistent scoring leader for the Bruins, leading the team with 75 goals his sophomore year, finishing at number two his junior year with 60 goals, and collecting 61 goals and 71 assists to regain the number-one spot his senior year. He set a Brown career record of 231 goals, a record that stood until last year.

Kent Rapp began playing water polo in the seventh grade in St. Louis. He recalls that the sport immediately appealed to him “because it combined my swimming ability (he swam competitively through high school) with team sports, which have always been my favorite.” He played water polo for St. Louis Country Day School, was named to the All-State team in his junior and senior years, led the team to the state championship his senior year and was named state MVP. Recruited by Coach Ed Reed, Rapp immediately became a mainstay of the Brown team. Water polo has become particularly strong at Brown in the past ten years, and Rapp now says, “It’s great to have been on the ground floor of a program that continues to achieve new heights in its high-caliber play and sportsmanship. It is not, however, a sport that attracts large crowds of spectators. But that didn’t matter to Kent Rapp. “We don’t do it for the recognition,” he told the Providence Journal in 1979. “I just play because I love the game.” He has fond memories: Of beating the New York Athletic Club for the first time in Brown water polo history at the AAU Indoor Nationals; of beating Loyola for the first time that same season; and of a very special day in 1977, his sophomore year, when he was notified that they had been selected for the NCAAs – the first time a Brown team has been invited. Now employed in marketing for Johnson & Johnson Baby Products Co., Rapp lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Jennifer Clayson Rapp ’81. “My father-in-law, Davis Barr Clayson ’58,” Rapp notes proudly, “was inducted into the Hall of Fame for swimming,” Could this be the start of a Hall of Fame dynasty?