Chase Budinger produced in all three of his years at Arizona for the basketball program and is a projected mid-first round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. However, he’s arguably at or near the top in terms of volleyball prospects. In this interview he says he’s going with the b-ball route at this point in time but he doesn’t dismiss the v-ball road, down the road. The way people peg Budinger, he may be forced in to choosing option B at some point. He is a fantastic athlete that often doesn’t show that athleticism on the floor – simply, choosing not to display it. Although he produced at Arizona, the small forward both wowed and frustrated his coaches and fans. NBAdraft.net compares him to Brent Barry – not only because he is white and can jump out of the gym – but because of his history in running dunk contests. Budinger joined WNDE in Indianapolis to discuss if his junior year helped him, whether or not he wants to play pro volleyball, and how v-ball has helped his b-ball skill set.
On preparing for the draft:
“This process is a grinding process. It’s a long process for us; a lot of traveling, a lot of workouts. It’s something that you’ve got to mentally prepare for. It’s like going into any job interview, that’s what we’re doing here.”
On staying for his junior year:
“I’m definitely glad that I stayed an extra year. I was able to train a little bit, I was able to get my confidence back and I definitely felt that I got better from last year. I feel that I’m ready for that next level; I think I’m ready for the NBA.”
How volleyball has helped his basketball game:
“It’s definitely helped my jumping. I think it’s helped my peripheral vision; I think that has increased because of volleyball. Some of the movements I do in basketball are from volleyball. I think the two sports work hand in hand very well.”
Would he consider playing professional volleyball someday?
“Not right now. My whole focus is on basketball right now. I’m willing to pursue this to the furthest extent and just have volleyball on the side for fun.”