Sean Rosenthal has officially selected his partner following his split from Trevor Crabb and beach volleyball is not his first sport – NBA’s Chase Budinger.
Budinger has decided to take his career from the basketball court to the sand when called upon by Rosenthal. He is not unfamiliar with the sport of volleyball has he was a standout player during his days at La Costa Canyon High School but decided to pursue basketball in college at the University of Arizona. With the Wildcats, Budinger was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2007, Third-Team All-Pac-10 in 2008 and First-Team All-Pac-10 in 2009.
Budinger has seen action in one professional beach volleyball tournament – the American Wide Open in 2011 when the NBA was on lockout. Volleyball runs in the family for Budinger as his brother Duncan would play at amateur tournaments in Manhattan Beach. Duncan has played consistently on the AVP Tour since 2005 and even competed in an FIVB World event in 2009. Budinger’s sister Brittanie also played volleyball for the University of San Francisco and as a professional in Europe.
Budinger played in the NBA from 2009-16, spending time with the Houston Rockets, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Sun. During the 2016-17 season, Budinger played in Spain from Baskonia but has decided to step away from basketball for Rosenthal.
Rosenthal is a two-time Olympian with 103 World Tour events and 20 medals under his belt, teaming up with some of the sports best – Phil Dalhausser, Jake Gibb and Theo Brunner. Making a move to a partner who is not a typical beach player is a high risk, high reward situation for Rosenthal, one that he thinks will work out in the end.
Budinger is not the only beach player to transition to the sand from another professional sport, as fellow American Ryan Doherty moved from baseball to the beach in 2010. Doherty, since the switch, has had a successful career on the sand which can help Budinger with the transition – in seeing someone else in his place succeed.
The duo will not be competing in the upcoming FIVB World Tour event in Fort Lauderdale – missing the deadline to sign up for a possibility to be in the tournament.