As if being one of the most highly sought after high school basketball players in the country wasn’t enough, Chase Budinger has another claim to fame. The 6-7 WF is also one of the top -- if not the premier -- junior volleyball players in the country. While it isn’t surprising to see a prospect who stars in two sports, the hoops/volleyball combo is a bit more rare.
According to Budinger, his game on the volleyball court has translated to basketball success.
“I think that volleyball helps me tremendously with basketball,” Budinger told Phog.net. “It helps with my jumping, my quickness, my movement and stuff like that so it helps all over.”
Of course whether or not he plays volleyball on the next level could change the choices that are available to him. For now though, there are plenty of big name schools who are interested in his services as a basketball player.
A versatile offensive player who can bomb away from the outside or use his considerable athleticism to attack the hole, Budinger fancies himself an all around player. He’s got the frame to muscle up in the lane and is comfortable doing whatever is asked of him on the court and is a much improved ball handler.
“My biggest strength is my all around game,” said Budinger. “I can do a little bit of everything. I can shoot, I can drive and I can rebound. Last year I wasn’t able to handle as much but this year I can.”
While his school list certainly has a West Coast flavor to it, Budinger doesn’t rule out the possibility of heading to the Midwest. He’s researching each school equally and has been impressed by the level of attention that the entire Jayhawk staff has shown him.
“Kansas has been interested for a year or a year and a half or so now,” said Budinger of Kansas’ interest in his game. “I think all of the coaches have been recruiting me, they just keep mixing it up. Every time Kansas calls it can be a different coach.”
As for what is most important to Budinger in a hoops program, he’s looking for the same things most other players are and won’t make a decision until he’s taken some visits.
“The coaches, the program they have and how do I fit into their program will probably be most important,” said Budinger. “I really have no idea when I’ll make a decision, it could be the summer or it could be after. I want to take some visits first.”
Coaches looking to get a look at him on the basketball court will have to see him soon because Budinger will devote most of his summer to volleyball. He’s got some major tournaments coming up with the US Volleyball team and would like to win some gold medals. While he won’t rule out playing two sports in college, it looks like basketball has a bit of an edge.
“Basketball is my first love,” said Budinger. “Basketball has always been my love. I don’t know where volleyball came from, it just kind of happened.”