(KTXL) — A Davis man is making a splash in the sport of water polo. So much so, that he was recently profiled in a New York Times article. But the reason for his fame might not be what you expect.

“My name is Mark Braly. I may be the oldest water polo player in the world, who knows. But I am certainly the worst.”

At 86-years-young, there were some second guesses when he showed up to his first practice over ten years ago.

“Uh, what the hell is he doing here? But he’s smart, he’s hard working, he keeps on going,” explained USA Water Polo Masters Committee Doc Hofer.

Braly says that the sport is a great workout that can get his heart rate up. He also shared that his late friend, Ross Yanker, taught him how to shoot at a goal.

“He wanted to score goals so badly when he first got here, and it took a while. But he scores on a regular basis, and it makes him happy,” said Hofer.

Happiness is a feeling shared throughout the team.

“It sort of draws people that have good character, that are team players,” said Hofer. “We were rooting for him when he first came in and now we’re rooting for him. Want to see if he can get to world masters games eventually.”

Braly says he has come a long way from when he started and he enjoys water polo more than swimming itself.

“Some of them are are really good players. Yeah it’s fun to watch them. I do swim several times a week and it’s just not as much fun. A lot of people say that we’re just swimmers until they discover water polo and they say what the hell, this is fun,” Braly explained.

According to Hofer, Braly has had a lasting impact on the people around him.

He’s just a special guy. He’s really smart, he’s really sharp, he’s accomplished a lot in his life, and he’s going to accomplish some more. He’s an inspiration to everybody here.”

Braly says since the article was published, he has been reconnected with friends he hasn’t talked to in years and is glad he has a platform to talk about the sport that he loves.

“I don’t have to inspire them. They inspire me.”