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Chase Budinger actually is a beach volleyball player

Aug 18, 2011, 2:08 PM EST

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Kevin Love is playing beach volleyball this summer on a lark. (And will again at the Manhattan Beach Open in two weeks.) It’s not something he had done much of before, but during the lockout why not?

Chase Budinger can actually play — he was as heavily recruited out of high school as a volleyball player as he was a basketball player.

This weekend the Rockets swingman is playing in the Hermosa Beach Open (just down the strand from Manhattan — beach volleyball is a way of life in L.A.’s South Bay) and he’s got a chance to do well. He can only do this because of the lockout — his NBA contract prohibits him from playing another professional sport. But since technically he doesn’t have a contract…

He spoke to Henry Abbott of TrueHoop about all of this.

You know, I’ve been trying to talk to guys and actually play beach volleyball professionally. My brother [Duncan Budinger] has been playing professionally, he’s on the tour, and he has been trying to get me out there. I was definitely planning on already playing. With him going out there I see more motivation to get out there as well. I’m happy that I was able to jump on this Corona Light tournament this upcoming weekend…

What’s your best volleyball skill?

Definitely hitting. For my size, I think I’m a good passer as well. … What always helped me was I was always an all-around player. There wasn’t ever a skill I was bad at. I could always pass, I could always set, I could always hit the ball, I could always block. That always made me very difficult to play against.

What I want to see is Budinger draw Love’s team in the Manhattan Beach Open next week. If you’re up for a wager, I’ll take Budinger’s team.

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