Chase Budinger’s basketball career might be over, but he is just getting started in another sport.
The former Arizona Wildcat is now a professional beach volleyball player, partnering up with two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal for the 2018 season and beyond.
Here’s what Carly DeMarque of VolleyMob.com wrote about the new duo:
Rosenthal is a two-time Olympian with 103 World Tour events and 20 medals under his belt, teaming up with some of the sports best – Phil Dalhausser, Jake Gibb and Theo Brunner. Making a move to a partner who is not a typical beach player is a high risk, high reward situation for Rosenthal, one that he thinks will work out in the end.
Budinger, 29, isn’t a typical beach volleyball player, but he is no novice.
The 6-foot-8 Encinitas, California native was named Mizuno National Player of the Year by Volleyball Magazine when he was a senior at La Costa Canyon High School, where he won three state titles as a stellar outside hitter (albeit in the non-beach version of the sport).
Budinger also participated in the American Wide Open in 2011 when the NBA was going through a lockout, and his brother Duncan and sister Brittanie are professional volleyball players.
After three seasons at Arizona, Budinger was selected in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft.
He played in the league from 2009-16, including stints with the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, and Phoenix Suns, and earned an estimated $18.3 million throughout his career.
The former McDonald’s All-American then played in Spain in 2016-17, before taking the 2017-18 season off.
Now Budinger is trying to use his size and athleticism to reinvent himself on the sand. And if he is anything like the player he was in high school, he should do just fine.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire