Former Jayhawks Unite to Kick off Mario V Chalmers Foundation

July 31, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Players from the 2008 Kansas Men’s basketball national championship team, as well as administration, coaches and alumni met at Alvamar Golf Course to participate in the inaugural National Championship Golf Classic to support the Mario V Chalmers Foundation on Friday.

One of the foundation’s main objectives is funding for breast cancer research, which is a cause close to Mario’s heart. The mother of one of his closest friends, Paul Peterson, was a victim of the disease. Peterson was also in attendance to support the cause.

Former director of basketball operations Ronnie Chalmers was excited by the thought of finding a way to get the National Championship team back together for a good cause.

“It’s great because what we’re trying to do is recapture that moment,” Ronnie Chalmers said. “When they won that national championship, that’s something they’re going to bond over for the rest of their lives. This would be one of the first times they would be able to all get together since the national championship, so we thought it would be a great idea. Everybody was excited about it.”

KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins, former Jayhawk and PGA golfer Gary Woodland and KU radio legend Max Falkenstein were just a few of the people on hand for the inaugural event. Others included current KU coaching staff and former players, including former guard Aaron Miles. Former starting point guard Russell Robinson jumped at the chance to help a friend and support a great cause, although his golf game might be shaky at best.

“This will be my second time ever golfing, so I don’t really know how good I am,” Robinson said. “Anytime I hear the guys are going to come back, I try to make it. Lawrence is my second home.”

Perkins loves being able to see players return to Lawrence and reconnect with each other.

“It’s always good to have the kids back,” Perkins said. “Anytime you can bring former players back to campus, it tells us they love to be here and they like coming back. Mario has a very special place in everyone’s heart, so it’s great to see him.”

Chalmers was happy to see the support for him in Lawrence is still strong.

“It means a lot to me. It shows that a lot of people still care,” Mario said. “Diehard KU fans are always going to have your back and support you.”