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Chase Budinger wins AVP beach volleyball championship

AVP Hermosa Beach Open Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Chase Budinger starred on the hardwood while at the University of Arizona, but these days he is crushing it on the beach.

More specifically, Budinger is playing volleyball, and on Sunday claimed the first-ever AVP championship alongside teammate Casey Patterson. Budinger and Patterson knocked off a team made up of Ryan Doherty and Miles Evans.

While Arizona fans are familiar with Budinger due to his high-flying dunks for men’s basketball, he excelled at volleyball for La Costa Canyon High School. So, that he is having success on the sand is not much of a surprise.

The 31-year-old Budinger played for the Wildcats from 2006 to 2009, helping lead the team to the Sweet 16 as a junior. He left school following that season and was chosen in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, with pick No. 44 overall.

Budinger never suited up for the Pistons, though, as he was traded to the Houston Rockets. He spent three seasons in Houston before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. After three seasons in the Twin Cities, Budinger was dealt to the Indiana Pacer, for whom he appeared in 49 games. Upon being waived by Indiana Budinger landed in Phoenix, playing in 17 games for the Suns in 2016.

Budinger signed with the Brooklyn Nets in September 2016, but was waived during the preseason.

That was the last the NBA would see of Budinger, who finished his career with averages of 7.9 points, 3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game before deciding to turn his attention toward becoming a professional beach volleyball player.