Chase Budinger #10

Chase Budinger of the Houston Rockets has entered the men’s open division of the Corona Light Wide Open beach volleyball tournament to be played Saturday and Sunday.

The former Arizona star, who has played the last two seasons with the Rockets, will partner with former UC Santa Barbara all-star Dane Jensen. Budinger was a two-sport standout at La Costa Canyon High in San Diego County. He won the 2006 Mizuno National Player of the Year Award in volleyball and was named a McDonald’s All-American in basketball.

With NBA players locked out by owners, no one is sure if there will be a 2011-12 season.

“Volleyball has always been a passion of mine, and it has been great to get back out on the beach and train,” Budinger said in a statement. “I’m really excited about this opportunity and I’m looking forward to seeing how my skills match up against some of the top players.”

– Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle blog