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Former NBA player Chase Budinger qualifies for Paris Olympics in beach volleyball

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Former NBA player Chase Budinger will be competing for Team USA in beach volleyball in the 2024 Summer Olympics next month.

Budinger, 36, and partner Miles Evans qualified for the U.S. men’s team last week. The pair are ranked No. 13 in most recent world rankings and are the No. 2 U.S. team, behind the fifth-ranked team of Miles Partain and Andy Benesh. Budinger and Evans qualified for the Summer Olympics as the No. 2 U.S. team after the No. 3-ranked U.S. team of Theo Brunner and Trevor Crabb lost in the first round of the last qualifying tournament.

Budinger was a top athlete in both basketball and volleyball in high school at La Costa Canyon High School in Encinitas, California. Budinger was a McDonald’s All-American in basketball and was co-MVP of the 2006 McDonald’s All-American Game alongside Kevin Durant. He also was named Volleyball Magazine’s National High School Player of the Year in 2005.

The 6-foot-7 athlete chose basketball and played at Arizona for three seasons (2006-09). He was named was named the 2007 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and earned first team all-Pac-10 honors in 2009.

The Detroit Pistons used their second-round pick (No. 44) to select Budinger in the 2009 NBA draft, but he was traded to the Houston Rockets on draft night. He played three seasons in Houston before he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also played for the Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns during his seven seasons in the NBA.

Budinger will become the first athlete to play in an NBA regular season game and Olympic beach volleyball, according to NBC Sports.

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