Q&A with Chase Budinger: Speaks at NBA combine about "friends with benefits"

Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJune 12, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 27:  Chase Budinger #34 of the Arizona Wildcats drives against the Louisville Cardinals  during the third round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Louisville won 103-64. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Full video of the interview available here.

[Could your] style of play could lead to an immediate impact in the NBA?

Yeah, definitely. I feel that with my maturity and my experience that I could definitely go on a team and help a team out very quickly and not be one of those guys that takes a year or two to be ready. I feel that I am ready and am able to play right away.


What’s been the most eye-opening part of the combine?

Probably the face to face stuff. Some of the questions you get, them trying to pick at your brain.


What was the craziest thing you were asked?

(Laughs) One of the teams, they were asking about the personal stuff and one of the coaches asked me if I had a girlfriend. I was like, “No, I don’t have a girlfriend.” And then another coach was like, “So do you have 'friends with benefits'?” When he first said that it kind of shocked me and I really didn’t understand the questions and I was like, “Oh, God” after I realized what he was saying. Just things like that they want to know a lot about and they want to know a lot about your personal life.


What’d you tell them?

'No comment' (laughs).


How much have you been prepped for the interviews and psychological testing?

I’ve had some help working on that part but not too much of it. Mostly it’s pretty much on my own just being myself in these interviews, telling the truth, and telling them what I know about things, and that’s pretty much it. I’m not trying to be someone else in these interviews, just trying to be myself.


How important is the interview portion?

It’s important because that’s [when] teams are trying to 'get it'. That’s why teams try to ask tough questions and different types of questions to get us players off our game and off our routine answers and to kind of get to know us on a personal level. I think it’s important for us to be ourselves in these interviews so they get to know us personally.


Chase talks about working with Steve Shenbaum from Game On Media to prepare for interviews. Game On is an organization that focuses on improvisation, role-playing, and humor to help athletes. Shenbaum has worked closely with several BDA Sports athletes in media awareness.


On the “three coin” technique he learned at GameOn (having three different personal stories to share and connect with people):

I’ve got a bunch more 'coins' than three. It’s [the role-playing that] helped me be able to tell stories on certain questions. Steve’s a great guy. Every time I meet with him I love his fun games that we play, a lot of improv stuff.


Has that helped you in the interview process?

I think it’s helped to be more relaxed and be myself, knowing that I have those coins in my back pocket that I can always fall back on. It’s definitely helped me. There have been plenty of times I’ve used the coins. I never thought I would be using those, but there have been perfect questions where I could definitely use one of those for that question.


Did you get connected to Game On through your agent?

Yeah, it’s through my agent. You go and meet with him [Steve]. He’s a fun guy. He was an actor. You do a bunch of improv stuff with him. It gets you kind of flowing instead of being very nervous with your answers and things like that. It gets your more relaxed and you go through a bunch of questions and have stories behind the questions because most teams don’t want you to just answer a question, they want you to give examples about the questions.

NBA Pre-draft Combine Results

Height w/o shoes: 6'6.25"
Height w/ shoes: 6'7"
Weight: 206
Wingspan: 6'7"
Standing Reach: 8'5"
Body Fat: 10.0 percent
No Step Vert.: 29.5
Max Vert.: 38.5
Bench Press: 10
Lane Agility: 11.08 
Three-Quarters Court Sprint: 3.24 sec.