Jay Gardner

Hi Parker!

It’s nice to get your email, Kyle told me you’d be reaching out.  I’m going to do my best to answer all of your questions!
Water polo has done so much for me, and taken me to so many different places that I never would have gone.  I played water polo all over the country, but also in Australia, Venezuela, and Greece!  I was lucky enough to play for a professional league in Greece for six months, which was quite an adventure, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.
I played water polo in college at Stanford for all four years, and we won the NCAA championship my junior year.  I was a 2M player, and I especially loved playing on the posts during a 6-on-5.  Besides playing water polo in college, I majored in feminist studies. I am still in touch with my coaches and teammates, although I don’t get to see them very often as life is so busy!
I also had the chance to play and train with the national team, and played in both the Junior Pan American Games (in Venezuela) and the Junior World Championships (in Perth, Australia), which we then won!
A few of my favorite memories around water polo?  It’s such a hard question, there are so many!  Going to eat at DelTaco with Kyle (DelTaco was his favorite) whenever we were away at tournaments, singing Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” into a microphone at half time of a Stanford club water polo game when I was in high school, and doing a synchronized swimming routine with the rest of the freshman on the team at halftime of a men’s game at Stanford.  I think one of my favorite memories is about my assistant coach in college, Susan.  We used to drive around in these 15-passenger vans whenever we went to a game, and she used to like to go verrrrry slow over the speed bump with the front wheels, and then she would speed up when she was going over with the back wheels so the back of the van would bounce really high!  One time she did it so well that one of my teammates in the back row actually hit her head on the top of the van 🙂
For so many years all I focused on was water polo, but now I don’t get as much time as I would like in the pool.  My wife and I have been married for a couple years now, and we just had a son in March, our first, named Finn.  I work now as an analyst for a startup here in San Francisco, and am just getting ready to come back to work after maternity leave.  I’ve already taken my son in the pool a couple of times and can’t wait to teach him how to eggbeater!
I’m not sure how much detail you want in terms of water polo memories, so please let me know if you’d like so more detail or stories, I’ve got plenty of them!  I don’t want to drone on and on, but I could talk for hours about the fun things I got to do with my teammates and coaches, and about how much I love the sport.
best of luck to you!  Thanks for asking me all these questions, and I hope I get a chance to meet you in person if I can come to the reunion!