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."
Budinger's older brother, Duncan, also plans to play in the Wide Open, teaming with Mike Placek. Placek and Matt Motter won the 2010 Corona Light Wide Open stop in Huntington Beach, while Duncan Budinger was one of the finalists at the Wide Open event in Santa Cruz last year.
Steve VanderWerp and Kevin Wong are the top-seeded team in the men's open, while Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik are No. 1 in the women's open.
The total purse is $75,000, with $11,250 awarded to the winning teams in both the men's and women's open divisions.
Sean Scott and John Hyden will attempt to complete a sweep of the men's open division at all four Corona Light Wide Open events.
Scott of Honolulu and Hyden of San Diego have not lost a match and have lost only one game all season en route to winning the Corona Light Wide Open titles at Siesta Key, Fla.; Seaside Heights, N.J.; and Chicago.
They are the No. 2 seed.
Among the teams lining up for a shot at Scott and Hyden are Aaron Wachtfogel and Bill Strickland; Ty Loomis and Mark Williams, the only team to get a game off of Scott and Hyden; and Tim Wooliver and Colin Kazlow, who picked up two titles on the 2010 Corona Light Wide Open.