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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mario Chalmers honored by jersey ceremony

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Texas

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 73-47 victory over Texas on Feb. 17, 2013.

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KU-Texas

Former Kansas University basketball combo guard Mario Chalmers had his jersey number 15 hung in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters in an emotional ceremony at halftime of Saturday’s KU-Texas game.

Wearing a blue sports coat and orange slacks, Chalmers was accompanied onto the court by KU broadcaster Bob Davis.

Chalmers’ No. 15 was revealed in the southwest corner of jersey row, between Wayne Simien’s No. 23 and Max Falkenstien’s No. 60.

“I love all the fans. This will always be my home no matter what. I love Kansas,” Miami Heat guard Chalmers said in concluding his speech.

He thanked his parents, KU’s coaches and fans. He singled out former teammate Jeff Hawkins.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be here today,” Chalmers told the crowd. “My freshman year was one of the hardest times for me. Me and coach (Bill) Self didn’t get along. I wanted to transfer. I think it would have been one of the worst decisions I ever made. Jeff picked me up from my dorm room and told me he went through the same thing. There’s no greater feeling to play in the fieldhouse in front of 16,300.”

Before the game, he addressed the media.

“Years down the line being able to see my name in the rafters is a great honor. It’s something you always hope for,” he said of jersey 15 hanging high.

“That was one of my dreams growing up, to leave my mark on whatever school I went to. It happened to be Kansas, and I am glad I was able to do that.”

Chalmers becomes the 27th KU men’s player to have his jersey hung. Also, broadcaster Falkenstien has been so honored.

Chalmers, who was most outstanding player in the 2008 Final Four, hit the biggest shot in KU history — a three-pointer that forced the ’08 NCAA title game against Memphis into overtime.

“I’d say 100,” Chalmers said, asked how many times he’s watched “The Shot” on tape. “Yesterday was the first time in a couple years. They played it at the reception (for Chalmers Friday night).

“It’s a moment in your life you’ll never forget.”

He was asked to identify the most famous person to ask him about the shot.

“It has to be President Obama,” Chalmers said. “He said something about the shot on our trip to the White House (with the world-champion Miami Heat). It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Chalmers identified his three most memorable games.

“My first game against Arizona. It’s one of the worst games I had in my life,” he said. “Of course, the national championship game and beating Florida in Vegas. Florida was a big moment for us for a young team.”

Chalmers, who also mentioned all the Late Nights in the Phog and a victory over Texas when Kevin Durant played for the Longhorns, spoke with the Jayhawks at Friday’s practice.

“I said, ‘It’s a good opportunity for you. Make the most of it,’” he said.

Comments

Lonnie Ross Dillon 4 years, 5 months ago

Interesting memory regarding the Arizona game. That game wasn't in AFH...it was in Maui.

jhkprd 4 years, 5 months ago

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KEITHMILES05 4 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

monkeehawkSL8 4 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

mjlindsm 4 years, 5 months ago

Final Four Most Outstanding Player - it's automatic that his jersey is hung, just like it will be automatic when Cole gets his hung.

Jack Jones 4 years, 5 months ago

Your "handle" says it all. It's 'oldtimers' like you that define the word "caricature' to describe the rest of us oldtimers. "Nice kid" > way to go 'gramps'.

hawk_of_ages 4 years, 5 months ago

I don't know what those three posters above you said to deserve removal, but they couldn't have been much crazier than calling Chalmers "mediocre."

actorman 4 years, 5 months ago

We need to forgive oletimer, since he clearly slept through Mario's entire career.

Waylon Cook 4 years, 5 months ago

I am sure you have accomplished sooo much more oletimer. Go get your gov't check from the mail and stay off Chalmers!

Scott MacWilliams 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm with you Memhawk. I always like to hear about the unsung heroes that make such a difference. Those guys help each other out quite a bit, and I bet they all struggle their first year, especially being a long way from home, not able to play their role from HS ball, etc.

Thanks, Jeff, for being there for Mario. You made a difference in a LOT of people's lives!!!

Mike Skiles 4 years, 5 months ago

Wow, as one old timer to another (oletimer), I think you need to check your meds! Mediocre? What about the words NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPdo you not understand? Mario deserved it, and yes the rest of the team was fantastic as well - but there was only one MVP for the Final 4, enough said! Congratulations to Mario, and I cannot wait to see it hanging in the rafters with my own eyes in another few weeks - RCJH!

Rick Neely 4 years, 5 months ago

Since they "re-vamped" the requirements for being hung in the rafters, this makes as much sense as any. Everyone loves Mario and the miracle shot made the 2008 National Championship possible. I would say that qualifies him for immortalization status. Before it is said and done, Cole will be there and so will Brandon Rush from that team. I like that HCBS has been here long enough to start seeing the fruits of his labor. I know that he sees it in the teams that he has and the Conference Championships, but now it is legacy. His recruits are beginning to be honored and yes, he has already, without question, made his mark on Kansas Basketball History, but now he has a jersey in the rafters. In 30 years, when they (perish the thought) build a new arena, Bill Self's name will be on something there and Mario, Brandon, Cole, Marcus, T-Rob, Withey and countless others will be hanging in the rafters of that new building. We are honored to have HCBS continue the legacy of Kansas Basketball and the new fruit hanging in the rafters is just the tip of the iceberg.

joshuamc914 4 years, 5 months ago

To say that Mario Chalmers was mediocre is just a blasphemous statement smh. I'm happy for Mario a great player who always came up so clutch people forget about how clutch he was in the back to back Big XII championship games. The shot he made in OKC to tie the game when KU won in overtime and the next year when he made the clutch three to clinch the game man he made so many big shots. I also miss those teams man the ball movent and the talent constructed on those teams blows my mind how good of an offensive and defensive teams those Kansas teams were.

Sally Presson 4 years, 5 months ago

Oletimer, you are nuts, of course he deserved this honor!!! Mario was a great player in so many ways.

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