After his seven-year NBA career, former Arizona All-Pac-10 forward Chase Budinger has made a remarkable transition to pro volleyball.
Last November Budinger was named the AVP Beach Volleyball Rookie of the Year.
Budinger, 30, began his professional volleyball career at this tournament a year ago after taking basketball as far as he could. That career included seven years in the NBA and another in Spain.
“It was tough making that decision of stopping a sport I’ve been doing all my life,” Budinger told Yahoo Sports. “The only good thing is it was planned this way. Just the timing of it was the toughest part. I was in that really unsure phase.”
During that phase, two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal asked Budinger if he wanted to play beach volleyball, and with the opportunity to learn from the best, he agreed.
“Basketball was always my first love,” Budinger said. “I just love the competitiveness. I love the physicality.”
Budinger hopes to compete internationally this year in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Basketball and volleyball are very similar in some aspects of the game.
The key to both is being able to jump out of the gym.
Never a problem for Budinger.
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