INDIANAPOLIS — Former Indiana Pacers player Chase Budinger will step within an NBA enviornment once more Friday. But to not play basketball. He shall be there enjoying seashore volleyball, a recreation he has conquered in some way he by no means did the pro international of hardwood and hoops.
Since retiring from the NBA, Budinger has turn into some of the best competition in the professional seashore volleyball circuit, a recreation he went again to from his days rising up in California after leaving an eight-year basketball profession.
On Friday, together with spouse Troy Field, Budinger will play in the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball championship on the Phoenix Suns’ Footprint Center in the inaugural AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) Phoenix Championships, which can run thru Saturday.
Sand shall be shipped into the sector’s ground for the season-ending single-elimination event. There shall be six groups in each and every of the males’s and girls’s brackets to crown the most productive pairs of the 2022 season. There’s a $15,000 handbag for the successful staff and $10,000 for the runner-up.
Before mountain climbing the ranks of professional seashore volleyball, Budinger performed one season for the Pacers (2015-16), enjoying 49 video games, averaging 4.4 issues and a couple of.5 rebounds in line with sport. He performed seven years with Houston, Minnesota and Phoenix.
Yet, even when the 6-7 Budinger was once in the highlight dunking, he was once interested by volleyball, he advised IndyStar in 2019.
“That was always the plan,” stated Budinger, 34, “to play beach volleyball when basketball was over.”
Basketball first, all of the manner
Budinger grew up the place his toes hit the sand each day. At La Costa Canyon High in California, Budinger led his staff to a few volleyball state championships. He was once named National Player of the Year through “Volleyball Magazine” as a senior.
He was once additionally a towering basketball standout with all of the makings of an NBA celebrity — and he in point of fact beloved basketball.
When the school provides poured in from in all places the rustic, some to play volleyball, some to play basketball, some to play each, Budinger did not blink. He did not must take into consideration it.
He was once opting for basketball, all of the manner.
Budinger signed with Arizona and went directly to be the forty fourth total pick out through Detroit in the 2009 NBA draft. He performed in the league for seven years, till 2016, when he left to play for Baskonia.
“It’s kind of tough going from the NBA to overseas. I didn’t have the greatest time,” Budinger stated in 2019. “Totally different lifestyle, pretty grueling.”
After a 12 months, Budinger began pondering. Maybe it was once time to make that soar to volleyball, as he’d all the time deliberate. But he simply wasn’t positive.
Then, the telephone rang.
‘Couldn’t withstand that be offering’
On the opposite finish was once the LeBron James of seashore volleyball, Sean Rosenthal. The veteran seashore celebrity is a two-time Olympian and has 11 AVP excursion victories.
Rosenthal had heard communicate swirling about this former NBA player who was once “gnarly” at volleyball. People have been telling Rosenthal to test him out.
“One of the best asked if I wanted to join him,” Budinger stated. “I couldn’t resist that offer.”
Since then, Budinger has seemed in 27 AVP tournaments and 29 FIVB (world) tournaments in 5 seasons. He’s gained 3 tournaments, together with two final season, and seemed in 5 different finals.
Budinger stated basketball has introduced so much to his volleyball sport.
“Just my work ethic playing basketball, I definitely brought that over to the beach volleyball game,” he stated in 2019. “It’s been quite a whirlwind of just learning the sport, learning the little details of beach.”
The Arizona Republic contributed to this tale.
Follow IndyStar sports activities reporter Dana Benbow on Twitter: @DanaBenbow. Reach her by way of e mail: email@example.com.