Have You Seen This? Former NBA player headed to Olympics in beach volleyball

Chase Budinger, left, plays in the NBA against Jae Crowder, right, on Jan. 13, 2016. (Associated Press)

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PARIS BEACH — Carlsbad, California, native Chase Budinger is returning to his sandy roots after an eight-year pro basketball career that spanned four NBA teams.

Budinger and his beach volleyball partner Miles Evans qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics on Wednesday as a dramatic change of trajectory reaches a new peak for the dual-sport star.

"I'm going to Paris, it's official," Budinger said in his immediate reaction after finding out.

Budinger was a second-round NBA draft pick out of Arizona in 2009 and played for the Rockets, Timberwolves, Pacers and Suns before retiring from basketball to focus on playing professional beach volleyball in 2017.

Team USA won three of the first four Olympic gold medals in men's beach volleyball since its inclusion in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but hasn't touched the podium since Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers won gold in Beijing in 2008.

The Paris Olympics begin July 26 on NBC and Peacock.

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Caleb Turner covers Real Salt Lake as the team's beat writer for KSL.com, in addition to his role where he oversees the sports team's social media accounts.


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