2018-01-29 11:17:00 CET

Swapping a slam dunk for a spike

Sean Rosenthal picks a new partner… with a twist

Stoked to announce my partner for 2018 and beyond. I'll be hitting the sand with Chase Budinger @budinger10 For those of you who don't know him... you're about to!!! 📷@alexanderbaik

1,034 Likes, 78 Comments - Sean Rosenthal (@seanrosenthal) on Instagram: "Stoked to announce my partner for 2018 and beyond. I'll be hitting the sand with Chase Budinger..."

A few days after the end of his partnership with Trevor Crabb was confirmed, American star Sean Rosenthal announced his new partner and…well, prepare to be surprised! But don’t feel bad, we didn’t see it coming either…

The 37-year-old veteran told the world through his Instagram account that he will share the courts with Chase Budinger in 2018. Did that name sound familiar? Yes, it’s that Chase Budinger, the former basketball player, who is ready to start a new professional career on beach volleyball.

Budinger, 29, played in the NBA from 2009 to 2016, splitting his time between the Houston Rockets, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Suns. He spent the 2016/2017 season playing ball in Spain, for Baskonia, and decided to make the transition to beach volleyball this year.

Beach volleyball, though, is not exactly unfamiliar to the 2.01m-tall player as the Californian was a standout volleyball player during his time at the La Costa Canyon High School. But it was when he went to college, that Chase pursued his career in basketball, a sport he also played in high school.

Budinger has played one professional beach volleyball tournament to date: the American Wide Open, in 2011, during the NBA lockout. He has also been constantly spotted taking part in amateur tournaments in Manhattan Beach and his older brother, Duncan, has been playing consistently in the American AVP since 2005 and competed in one World Tour event in 2009.

He couldn’t have a picked a better partner to start his beach volleyball career with as Rosenthal, nicknamed “Superman”,  is a two-time Olympian with 103 World Tour tournaments and 20 medals under his belt – 10 of those gold.

So welcome to the beach, Chase! We are looking forward to see what you can do!

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