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Meet the Olympians: Jesse Smith

Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

Jesse Smith

Born in Hawaii and raised on the peninsula of Coronado, California, just across the bay from San Diego, the water is a second home to Jesse Smith (’05), who will compete with Moses on the U.S. men’s water polo team this summer after winning Silver in 2008.

The 6’4” athlete, who plays the utility position, was also one of America’s top scorers at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games before he had even graduated from Pepperdine, scoring nine goals total and two in his debut game against Croatia. He, too, went on to play professionally in Croatia, helping team Samir Barac win the Croatian Championship in 2007.

Though he took time out of his degree to compete in the 2004 games as an undergraduate, Smith managed to graduate in eight semesters and was named to the All-American team four times at the University. After graduating in the winter of 2005, he and his Pepperdine bride Brittany (nee Dye) (’05) moved to europe, where he played for Ethnikos Pireus in Greece.

Smith currently plays professionally for Savona in Italy, and scored six goals during the 2011 Pan American Games— winning Team USA a Gold Medal and a qualifying win for this year’s summer Olympics.