Budinger with the Arizona Wildcats
|Born||May 22, 1988|
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school||La Costa Canyon|
|NBA draft||2009 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44th overall|
|Selected by the Detroit Pistons|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Chase Andrew Budinger (born May 22, 1988) is an American professional volleyball player and former professional basketball player from Encinitas, California, who last played for Baskonia of the Liga ACB and the EuroLeague. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 44th overall pick in 2009 NBA draft after playing three years of college basketball for the University of Arizona.
Budinger was a standout basketball and volleyball player at La Costa Canyon High School while living in Encinitas, California; his teammates on the basketball team included future NFL quarterback Kevin O'Connell. In basketball, he led La Costa Canyon to the CIF San Diego Section title in 2006. In volleyball, he led his school to three state championships and was named by Volleyball Magazine as the National Player of the Year as a senior.
Budinger was a McDonald's All-American and was the runner-up in the 2006 McDonald's All-American Slam Dunk Contest.
Budinger chose to concentrate on basketball, signing with Arizona--a school that did not (and still does not) sponsor varsity men's volleyball--although he received offers from many other schools, most notably offers by USC and UCLA to play both basketball and volleyball. He averaged 15.6 points in his freshman season, starting all 30 games for the Wildcats. At the conclusion of the season he announced that he planned to stay with Arizona for his sophomore season, despite speculation that he could be picked early in the NBA draft. However, he later announced that he would declare for the draft and not hire an agent. He was projected as a mid-first-round pick by most draft analysts. However, on the final day of the deadline for pulling out of the early entry list, Budinger opted not to remain in the draft and returned to school instead.
After the 2008-09 season, he declared for the NBA draft a second time. Under an NCAA rule back then, declaring for the draft a second time ended a player's college eligibility. In 2016, that rule was revised to allow a player to enter and withdraw from the draft multiple times without losing eligibility.
In 2009, he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons, and then traded to the Houston Rockets on draft night. He joined the Rockets' Summer League team, and averaged 17.8 PPG. In the 2009 season opener for the Rockets, Budinger came off the bench and logged 15 minutes of playing time while scoring 6 points and collecting one rebound. On March 30, 2010, Budinger scored 24 points in a 98-94 home win against the Washington Wizards. Three days later he matched this total in a 119-114 road win at the Boston Celtics. On February 23, 2011, Budinger scored a new career-high 30 points in a 124-119 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. During the Rockets' season finale against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Budinger scored a new career-high 35 points on 12 of 21 shooting, including 4 for 8 from 3-point range.
In 2012, Budinger competed in the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest, where he performed a dunk over P. Diddy, a wheelhouse slam, and a blindfolded reverse dunk honoring former Slam Dunk Contest winner Cedric Ceballos. However, he ultimately lost to Jeremy Evans by one percent of the votes.
On June 25, 2012, Budinger, along with the rights to Lior Eliyahu, was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the eighteenth pick in the 2012 NBA draft. On November 2, he made his debut for the Timberwolves in a 92-80 win over the Sacramento Kings, recording nine points, five rebounds and one block in 21 minutes off the bench.
On July 12, 2015, Budinger was traded to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Damjan Rude?. On October 28, he made his debut for Indiana in a 106-99 loss to the Toronto Raptors, recording two rebounds and one assist in 15 minutes off the bench. On March 5, 2016, he was waived by the Pacers.
On March 8, 2016, Budinger signed with the Phoenix Suns. He made his debut for the Suns the following night, recording two points, two rebounds and one assist in a loss to the New York Knicks.
In 2017, Budinger decided to retire from basketball to focus on playing professional beach volleyball. He made his debut on the AVP tour with Sean Rosenthal in 2018, and in 2019 is partnering with Casey Patterson.
Budinger's parents are Duncan and M?ra Budinger. His maternal grandfather, Andrejs Egl?tis, was Latvian, and moved to the United States during World War II. Andrejs was proud of his descent and wrote a book about it called A Man From Latvia. Budinger's older sister, Brittanie, played volleyball at the University of San Francisco and as a professional in Europe. His older brother, Duncan, also plays volleyball and tours professionally.