Kansas Guard Mario Chalmers to Stay in NBA Draft and Forego Senior Campaign
June 15, 2008
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head coach Bill Self announced Sunday that Mario Chalmers has decided to stay in the NBA draft and will forego his senior season at KU. Chalmers joins Jayhawk teammates Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur in forgoing their collegiate eligibility for the NBA.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
“Mario informed us of his position to stay in the draft today,” Self said. “Even though this was official, we anticipated this back in April when he declared without an agent. We are excited for Mario’s draft prospects. From what we have gathered his stock has climbed. We wish Mario the very best and we will anxiously be waiting to see where all of our guys will be drafted.”
“In my past five workouts, I have impressed the scouts and general managers, showing them my capabilities to have success at the next level,” Chalmers said. “I have made the decision to move on and forego my senior season at Kansas.”
Named the most outstanding player of the 2008 Final Four, Chalmers averaged 12.8 points per game for the national champion Jayhawks. The 6-1, Anchorage, Alaska, guard tied his own school single-season record with 97 steals in 2007-08, a feat he also attained his sophomore campaign. A three-time Big 12 All-Defensive Team member, Chalmers led the conference in steal average all three seasons at Kansas. His 283 career steals rank second on KU’s all-time list behind Darnell Valentine’s 336.
“Being at Kansas has made me a better player and better person,” Chalmers said. “I want to thank all the fans, the coaches and players who have helped me in my three years at KU. I will always be a Jayhawk and will come back and visit every chance I get.”
Chalmers was a member of three Big 12 regular-season and postseason championship teams. He was a member of the 2008 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship all-tournament team. Named All-Big 12 Third Team his freshman year and second team each of the last two seasons, Chalmers was named the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. Chalmers ends his KU career 11th on the school’s career assists list with 420. His 1,341 career points are 24th best in KU men’s basketball.
“This has been part of Mario’s dream, to play at the next level,” Kansas director of basketball operations Ronnie Chalmers said. “He has accomplished his goals at Kansas. He wanted to come here and win a national championship and he did. His mother (Almarie) and I are happy to be able to see him live this dream.”