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Friday, July 31, 2009

Chalmers hits course for fundraiser

Mario Chalmers

Mario Chalmers

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Mario Chalmers, who hit the biggest shot in Kansas University history, did so on the basketball court — not the golf course.

“I do a little putt-putt, not much else,” said former KU guard Chalmers, confessing he’s not much of a linksman heading into today’s first National Championship Golf Classic, set for a 1 p.m. shotgun start at Alvamar.

“I’ve been practicing a little bit,” added Chalmers. “I’ll mostly interact with the people, take some pictures, take a couple putts.”

Most of Kansas University’s basketball players and coaches from the 2008 NCAA title team will participate in the fundraiser, which includes a dinner banquet. Two ’08 champs who won’t be here are Brandon Rush, who is playing basketball in China as part of the Basketball Without Borders program, and Sasha Kaun, playing with Russia’s national team overseas.

Chalmers — who hit the three-pointer that forced overtime against Memphis in KU’s ’08 title victory — chuckled when asked what it’d take to make today a successful day.

“If I hit a hole-in-one,” Chalmers said, adding, “It’ll be a good day if everybody has fun. We’re all out for a good cause.”

The cause is the “Mario V. Chalmers Foundation,” that cites as its mission to “create and support community based programs that encourage the positive development of youth through sports and education and fund initiatives for breast cancer research and treatment.”

Mario’s dad, former KU director of basketball operations Ronnie Chalmers, explained the inspiration behind the foundation.

“It’s something Mario wanted to do when he decided he wanted to be an NBA player,” Ronnie Chalmers said of Mario, who just completed his rookie season with the Miami Heat. “He wanted to start a foundation, to do it in honor of a close friend who died his sophomore year at KU.”

That person is Pauline Peterson, mother of one of Mario’s YMCA and AAU teammates — Paul Peterson of Anchorage.

She cheered her son and Mario as they grew up playing basketball.

“She was like a second mom to Mario,” Ronnie said of Pauline, who died after a battle with breast cancer. “My wife and she were good friends. Mario decided his foundation would be to support awareness and cure for breast cancer along with youth initiatives to make kids aware of making the right choices on and off the court.”

Mario added: “I am very happy to give back. This is a great opportunity, something I always wanted to do, especially in the name of Mrs. Peterson. This is a great way to kick it off.”

Chalmers had success on the court during his 2008-09 rookie campaign. Starting all 82 games during the regular season and seven playoff games in a first-round loss to Atlanta, the second-round draft pick averaged 10.8 points with 4.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

He set a team record with nine steals against Philadelphia back in November.

“I’d say the highlight of my season was breaking the steals record,” the 6-foot-1 Chalmers said. “It was just like college, still playing the lanes, getting ready for the offense.”

Of his starting role on the team, he said: “It was not given to me. It’s something I worked for. For my second season I need to improve, get more comfortable with the game and teammates, know the system better and keep finding my way.”

Chalmers said he has enjoyed playing in Miami thoroughly.

“I love it there. It’s a great place and great fit for me,” he said. “I think we’ll definitely be back in the playoffs next year and win a lot of games.”

He also loves Lawrence and never tires of talking about “the shot” and KU’s NCAA title.

“It’s still vivid in my mind. We’ve got pictures hanging up in the house,” Chalmers said. “We talk about it. Now it’s on to bigger and better things, trying to win the NBA championship now.”

Mario’s parents still own a house in Lawrence.

“It’s on the market,” Ronnie said, noting, “we are back and forth, probably 70 percent of the time in Miami and 30 percent in Lawrence. We’ll always be part of the Lawrence community, especially now with the establishment of this foundation. We wanted it based out of Lawrence. Lawrence is embedded in our lives forever.”

Comments

Timmay97 10 years, 5 months ago

The "Shot" is embedded in our lives forever. Great job Mario.....keep up the good work. I wish you nothing but success in the NBA.

HAWKTOPIA 10 years, 5 months ago

"Mario V. Chalmers Foundation" "V" for victory! Thanks for coming home. We love ya!

MemphisMachine 10 years, 5 months ago

EHHH, yeah what a way to begin the day, umkayy....happy Friday. But really, that was truly a remarkable game though, see you guys in St. Louis, cheers.

tennesseest 10 years, 5 months ago

"Kansas has only made two threes all night, They MUST MAKE ONE HERE TO EXTEND THE GAME. Collins, brings in up court...OH! He almost losses it..! GIVES IT TO Chalmers! For the tie! (OOOOOHHHHHH) GOOOOOD!!!! Dozier! From midcourt, for the championship! NOOOO!!! OVERTIME!!! THE FREE THROWS DID IT! AND WE SAID, 'COULD YOU MAKE 'EM WHEN THEY COUNT?'" haha, like it was yesterday....

kufankam 10 years, 5 months ago

tennesseest...

i watched the game just the other night with my son.... WHAT A GAME AND WHAT A SHOT!!!

by the way.... i think this is funny to go back and look at this feature that was done on memphis just before the final four.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anIPKtsDlMo&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.com%2Fvideosearch%3Fq%3Dmemphis%2520basketball%2520respect%26oe%3Dutf-8%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26um&feature=player_embedded

i love it that they were so cocky sitting around laughing that people were questioning their free throw woes.... i wonder if they ever go back and watch this clip now?

boomrsoonr26 10 years, 5 months ago

Will he be sharing his exploits on the course in the clubhouse with us over a cigar blunt?

"Cherio good sirs! I want to thank Mr. Beasley for providing us with this fine smoking tobacco . Pass the pipe already Mr. Arthur!"

Just trying to keep it light, so lighten up.

KGphoto 10 years, 5 months ago

It would be ridiculous if he still had to re-take rookie camp. Through his actions since the debacle, his performance on the court and now this, it would be an embarrassment if the NBA made him follow through with that stupid rookie re-do punishment.

In fact the NBA should donate the $20,000 fine back to Mario V. Chalmers Foundation.

KUFan90 10 years, 5 months ago

Funny...I just watched the game again last night. It gets me every time (Mario's basket and the shot of Self and Darnell Jackson hugging at the end).

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

Totally unrelated nonsequitor but the term " former Jayhawk" just bugs the pi$$ out of me. I know, I know, gramatically it is correct but the spirit of the expression is all wrong. Once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk unless you somehow betray that trust.

In my book, "former Jayhawks" would include JR Giddens, David Padgett, CJ Giles, Micah Downes, etc., etc. However, I myself am conflicted because I do not lump Tyrone Appleton, QT and others in the same category.

The terms "Jayhawk Alum", "Kansas Alum", or just plain "Jayhawk" seem just so much more appropriate...and that could go for any athlete from any school.

I wear my Crimson and Blue on my sleeve because going to KU and becoming a Jayhawk changed my life and made me a better person. I will be proud to be a Jayhawk till the day I knock on the Pearly Gates. { St.Peter better not have a Missouri cap on or we're gonna go!!! ]

rawkhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Mario is on of my favorite Jayhawks of all time. Glad to hear he's keeping up the good work in Lawrence. Rock Chalk!

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

kufankam (anonymous) says... tennesseest... i love it that they were so cocky sitting around laughing that people were questioning their free throw woes.... i wonder if they ever go back and watch this clip now?

I can't believe the Vols, UK or even Memphis would be on here!

I think it's great to see this group of cocky losers laughing and making light of their horrible free throws. They are truly second place losers and never deserved to win that 08 NC!! This video clip only verified the right team won.

RCJHKU

kufankam 10 years, 5 months ago

truehawk...

i agree completely! i remember when watching that feature live, my wife was floored with their arrogance. she pointed out that even most "normal cocky athletes" at least fake it and say the right thing. i thought that was so funny and true that i went back to watch it again. i think it is funny when the self proclaimed "high and mighty" are humbled by their own weaknesses. i think it is only sweeter that they were humored that it could ever cost em!

P.S. i bet rose laughed the same way when someone pulled him to the side and said, "derrick, think about what you're doing... if you have someone else take your SAT, it will surely catch up to you eventually"

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 5 months ago

I love Jayhawk basketball. I love golf. And if I were filthy rich I would love contibuting obscene amounts of money to the foundation.

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