INDIANAPOLIS — Former Indiana Pacers participant Chase Bodinger will step contained in the NBA circuit once more on Friday. However to not play basketball. There he will probably be enjoying seaside volleyball, a sport he conquered in a approach by no means earlier than performed within the skilled world of hardwoods and hoops.
Since retiring from the NBA, Bodinger has change into one of many greatest rivals on the professional seaside volleyball circuit, a sport he is returning to from his California rising up days after leaving his eight-year soccer profession.
On Friday, with associate Troy Area, Bodinger will play the AVP Professional Seaside Volleyball Match on the Footprint Middle within the Phoenix Suns within the inaugural Phoenix AVP (Affiliation of Volleyball Professionals) event, which can run by Saturday.
Sand will probably be shipped onto the sector for the season-ending Singles Elimination Championship. There will probably be six groups in each the lads’s and girls’s brackets to crown the most effective pairs of the 2022 season. There’s a $15,000 purse for the profitable workforce and $10,000 for the runner-up.
Earlier than climbing the ranks of professional seaside volleyball, Bodinger performed one season for the Pacers (2015-16), through which he performed 49 video games, averaging 4.4 factors and a pair of.5 rebounds per sport. He performed seven years with Houston, Minnesota and Phoenix.
Nevertheless, even when the 6-7 Budinger was within the highlight, he was excited about volleyball, he instructed IndyStar in 2019.
“It was at all times the plan to play seaside volleyball when basketball was over,” stated Bodinger, 34.
Basketball first, all the best way
Bodinger grew up together with his ft hitting the sand day-after-day. At La Costa Canyon Excessive in California, Bodinger led his workforce to a few volleyball tournaments. He was named Nationwide Participant of the 12 months by Volleyball Journal as a Senior.
He was additionally a basketball famous person with all that an NBA famous person makes – and he actually beloved basketball.
When faculty exhibits poured in from all around the nation, some to play volleyball, some to play basketball, and a few to play each, Bodinger did not blink. He did not have to consider it.
He was choosing basketball all the best way.
Bodinger signed with Arizona and have become the forty fourth total decide by Detroit within the 2009 NBA Draft. He performed within the league for seven years, till 2016, when he left to play for Basconia.
“It is arduous to maneuver from the NBA overseas,” Bodinger stated in 2019. “I have never had the most effective time. A very completely different way of life, very traumatic.”
A 12 months later, Bodinger started to assume. Possibly it is time to make that volleyball leap, as he at all times deliberate. However he wasn’t positive.
Then the cellphone rang.
Cannot resist this provide
On the opposite finish was seaside volleyball participant LeBron James, Sean Rosenthal. The veteran seaside star is a two-time Olympian with 11 AVP Tour victories.
Rosenthal had heard speak swirling about this former NBA participant who was “ferocious” in volleyball. Folks have been telling Rosenthal to test it out.
“Probably the greatest of them requested if I wished to affix him,” Bodinger stated. “I could not resist this provide.”
Since then, Budinger has appeared in 27 AVP Championships and 29 FIVB (Worldwide) Championships in 5 seasons. He received three championships, together with two final season, and appeared in 5 different finals.
Bodinger stated basketball introduced loads to his volleyball sport.
“Simply my work ethic of enjoying basketball, I undoubtedly introduced that to the sport of seaside volleyball,” he stated in 2019. “It has been a whirlwind of simply studying the game, studying little particulars concerning the seaside.”
The Arizona Republic contributed to this story.
Observe IndyStar sports activities reporter Dana Benbow on Twitter: DanaBenbow. You possibly can attain her by way of e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.