Junior Mario Chalmers Declares for NBA Draft

April 23, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. — University of Kansas men’s basketball junior Mario Chalmers officially declared for the NBA draft Wednesday afternoon, but will not hire an agent. Chalmers, who hit the game-tying three-pointer to send the 2008 national championship game into overtime and was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Performer, can return to <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas next season if he takes his name out of the draft.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

“This has been an unbelievable three years for me at Kansas,” Chalmers said. “I appreciate all the love that the fans, my teammates and coaches have shown me. It has been a great honor to be a part of this University, to be part of such a great team and to win a national championship.”

As KU’s second-leading scorer, Chalmers led the Jayhawks in three-point percentage, minutes played and assists this season. The Anchorage, Alaska native and three-time All-Big 12 selection tied the school record for steals in a season with 97 in 2007-08, matching his record from a year ago. He stands as second all-time on the KU career steals list behind Darnell Valentine.

“I think we should all be excited for him and his opportunities,” said head coach Bill Self said of Chalmers. “It is a bold thing to do and I certainly support him in his quest for living out another dream.”

In addition to its national championship, Kansas finished the 2007-08 season with a school-record 37 victories. The Jayhawks (37-3, 13-3 Big 12) tied Texas for the Big 12 regular-season championship – KU’s fourth straight conference title – won their third straight Big 12 tourney championship, entered the 2008 NCAA Tournament as No. 1 seed for the second straight year, advanced to the Elite Eight for the second straight season and played its first Final Four since 2003.

On April 17, junior Brandon Rush and sophomore Darrell Arthur each declared for the NBA draft. Rush declared for the NBA draft last season and declaring this year will not allow him to return to Kansas for his senior season. Arthur said he will not sign with an agent, which would allow him to return to Kansas next season if he takes his name out of the draft.

Mario Chalmers Career Honors:

2007-08: Final Four Most Outstanding Player… Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team… All-Big 12 Second Team… Big 12 All-Defensive Team (coaches)… Big 12 All-Defense Team (media)… NABC District 12 First Team… Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 30 list… Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention… Preseason Wooden Award List… Preseason AP Honorable Mention All-American. Summer 2007:Team USA Pan Am trials.

2006-07: Co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year… All-Big 12 Third Team by Big 12… All-Big 12 Honorable Mention by AP… All-Big 12 Defensive Team … AP Big 12 All-Defense Team…Las Vegas Invitational All-Tournament team… Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

2005-06: All-Big 12 Honorable Mention… Big 12 All-Rookie Team… Big 12 All-Defensive Team… AP All-Big 12 Third Team… Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player… Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team… Rivals.com Freshman of the Week (March 13)… Big 12 Player of the Week (Feb. 13)… Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Jan. 30)… CBS Sportsline Freshman of the Week (Jan. 30)… Dutch Lonborg Free Throw Percentage Award… Clyde Lovellette Most Improved Player Award (with Julian Wright).