Earlier this year, two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal and former NBA player Chase Budinger joined forces to pursue their passion for beach volleyball.
While he was earning accolades as a basketball player, Budinger was also hard at work proving himself as a worthy volleyball athlete and scored an MVP award at the U18 USA Junior Olympic Volleyball Tournament in 2006.
The multi-talented athlete shared his thoughts on the switch from basketball to beach volleyball in an interview with the Del Mar Times.
“I always thought that these two sports complemented each other so well,” said Budinger on the dynamics of the two sports. “The jumping, reaction time, vision and quickness (are the same with both sports). In basketball, you’re inside with your shoes on playing 5-on-5 and in (beach) volleyball it’s just you and your partner, so you’re involved in every play.”
A former Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns player in the United States, Budinger never let go of his passion for volleyball while he was playing basketball in the NBA and would regularly practice during the off-season.
“The play has always been to venture into volleyball after basketball,” Budinger said.
When it was time to finish his professional basketball career, he got a call from two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal and was asked if he had an interest in playing.
“I gave it some thought and soon after I told him, ‘Let’s do this!’”
“You set up practice times, workout times, extra cardio, massages. Whatever it is, it’s always on you,” Budinger explained on how his new venture is offering him more independence. “This is something I am getting used to because in basketball you are told what to do with all your coaches, trainers or strength coaches.”
Beach volleyball is also providing a few welcome perks. “Walking onto the sand and feeling the sunshine hit your face you just say, ‘This is my workplace.