Aug 18, 2011, 2:08 PM EDT
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.