THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2013
Mario Chalmers to have jersey retired at halftime of Texas game
By Staff Reports
Photo by Nick Krug
Kansas guard Mario Chalmers elevates for a three-pointer in the remaining seconds of regulation Monday, April 7, 2008 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Chalmers swished the three to send the game into overtime.
Former Kansas guard Mario Chalmers will have his No. 15 jersey retired at halftime of the ESPN College Gameday Texas at Kansas men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 16, KU announced Thursday.
Chalmers is most remembered for his game-tying three-pointer in KU’s 75-68 overtime win against Memphis in the 2008 national championship game.
“Mario definitely deserves to have his jersey hung,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “He was the most outstanding player in a 2008 Final Four, which featured four No. 1 seeds. He was as clutch of a player as we’ve ever had here. He was a guy that seemed like the bigger the stage, the brighter he shined. He had an orneriness and toughness that a lot people didn’t see because they saw the smile. He was an assassin on the court.”
Chalmers’ lists of accolades go much deeper. The Anchorage, Alaska, native was the 2007 co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and an All-Big 12 second team selection during his junior year. He appeared on the league’s all-conference teams all three seasons he was a Jayhawk, including every Big 12 All-Defensive squad.
Besides his 2008 Final Four MOP, he was named to the Big 12 championship all-tournament team in 2007 and 2008, the second of which came after he scored a career-high 30 points against Texas in the title game.
Chalmers led the Big 12 in steals with 97 in 2007 and 97 again in 2008, which are Kansas single-season records.
During Chalmers’ three seasons, the Jayhawks were 95-16 (85.6 percent) with three Big 12 regular-season titles, three Big 12 postseason championships, two NCAA Elite Eight appearances, one Final Four and one national championship.
“Mario cares about winning,” Self said. “Points are great and steals are great and he was the best stealer of the ball we’ve ever had here, but he cares about winning. Guys that play here understand that winning trumps everything and he understood that. Brandon (Rush) understood that, Shady (Darrell Arthur), Sherron (Collins), Sasha (Kaun), Darnell (Jackson), Russell (Robinson), they all understood that. That is what made that (2008) team so cool. There were games when Mario would take four shots in a game and I’d say, ‘Shoot the ball’ and he’d say ‘Why? Everybody else is making shots.’ It was such a fun team to be around, but he was clutch. Everybody throughout his tenure here would ask me who’s our go-to guy, and in our players’ minds there was never a doubt who our go-to guy was. There are not many guys out there, regardless of the school, that have held that distinction. Mario will be remembered for the shot, but I will remember him more for being a winner.”
Selected 34th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Chalmers was later traded to the Miami Heat. A two-time NBA Finals competitor, he joined elite company when his Miami Heat team won the 2012 NBA title. Chalmers joined former KU great Clyde Lovellette in becoming only the second Jayhawk to win both an NCAA and NBA title.
“I’m proud of the career he has had since he left here,” Self said. “Being a world champion and a national champion, there’s not too many people that could have that distinction. He was an absolute treat to coach. He had great teammates and they all liked each other. It was such a fun time to be around. We’re all so proud of what he accomplished.”
Chalmers becomes the second Jayhawk in the Bill Self era to have his jersey retired. Former KU consensus All-America selection Wayne Simien, who played at Kansas from 2002-05, had his No. 23 jersey retired during the 2010-11 season.
Kansas Men’s Basketball Retired Jerseys
Tus Ackerman • 1923-25
Charlie B. Black • 1942-43, 1946-47
Charlie T. Black • 1922-24
B.H. Born • 1952-54
Bill Bridges • 1959-61
Wilt Chamberlain • 1957-58
Nick Collison • 2000-03
Paul Endacott • 1921-23
Howard Engleman • 1939-41
Ray Evans • 1942-43, 1946-47
Max Falkenstien • 1946-2006
Drew Gooden • 2000-02
Gale Gordon • 1925-27
Kirk Hinrich • 2000-03
Raef LaFrentz • 1995-98
Clyde Lovellette • 1950-52
Danny Manning • 1985-88
Al Peterson • 1925-27
Paul Pierce • 1996-98
Fred Pralle • 1936-38
David Robisch • 1969-71
Wayne Simien • 2002-05
Bud Stallworth • 1970-72
Darnell Valentine • 1978-81
Jacque Vaughn • 1994-97
Walter Wesley • 1964-66
Jo Jo White • 1966-69
Kansas Women’s Basketball Retired Jerseys
Angela Aycock • 1992-95
Tamecka Dixon • 1994-97
Lynette Woodard • 1978-81