Dudley, a Yale graduate who did two stints with the Portland Trail Blazers, has no political experience.
On Wednesday, according to The Oregonian, he declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination with a "carefully worded speech that stuck to GOP orthodoxy on jobs, government spending and natural resource development, but that also tried to assure voters he cares about quality schools and strong environmental protections."
"I believe it is a strength, not a weakness, that I have not spent the last 30 years in politics," he said.
The 44-year-old, 6-foot-11 former center will have competition from at least three other Republicans for the nomination.
According to the Associated Press, he has raised $373,000 for his run thus far, more than any other candidate in the race.