|CORONADO, California, October 12. BRIAN Bent was an ambidextrous water polo player known for converting 6-on-5 advantages into points. As a high school All-American and one of the top prep recruits in the country, Bent became a member of the UCLA Men's squad and played with the Bruin's water polo team from 1995 to 1997. In 1995 he redshirted the NCAA title-winning season. In 1996, he had a tremendous freshman campaign, scoring 30 goals in 46 attempts and helping guide the Bruins to back-to-back NCAA Championships. He graduated from UCLA in 2000 and passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 2, 2006 from an enlarged heart, a condition called cardio myopathy. At the time of his passing, he was teaching English to students in Taipei, Taiwan.
Bent is now memorialized in one of California's premier aquatic facilities in his home town of Coronado Island near San Diego. The Brian Bent Memorial Aquatics Complex (BBMAC) is located on the Coronado High School campus where Bent earned prep All-America honors, was named the league's most valuable player and garnered 1994 CIF Player of the Year accolades as a senior. That season, he helped lead Coronado High School to the CIF title.
"Brian was clearly as talented an athlete as anyone I have ever coached, including the three highly regarded Olympians. But my memories of Brian serve me often, and he was the complete package. Honest, strong work ethics, sincere, and without a doubt, fun-loving. His spirit is simply expressed as 'living the moment'. Brian Bent captured the moment of what many of us strive to achieve," said Randall Burgess, Coronado High School's water polo coach.
BBMAC is an $8.5 million state-of-the art complex completed in late 2006. The complex features a 50-meter, 7-foot depth Olympic-Class pool that accommodates any water polo course length and can be split into multiple courses for maximum versatility. The High School originally planned on selling the building's naming rights for $1 million, but the school board, fundraisers and community members unanimously approved naming the facility in Bent's honor.
"Brian was a great guy and we knew everyone loved him, but we were amazed and honored that the community wanted to name this beautiful facility in his memory," said Gwyn Bent, Brian's mother. "It is finer than most of the university and high school pools we have visited over the years."
The pool now hosts California State Water Polo Games and USA Masters Water Polo Tournaments along with the Australian National Swim Team and the Long Course Junior Olympics. BBMAC is also available to teams from throughout the United States and Canada.
"I am very excited that this facility bears his name" said Coach Burgess. "We can all only hope that it will also bear his spirit. This facility will receive many people who will get to know the name. I hope to let those folks, young and old, know the man."
For more information about Brian Bent or the Brian Bent Memorial Aquatics Complex, call 619.522.8900 x2821 or visit www.bbmac.org.
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