Wednesday was filled with “Super-Sized” excitement for Kansas recruit, “Super” Mario Chalmers. It was a happy day, indeed, for the 6-2 Anchorage, Alaska point guard who was named a McDonald’s All-American along with future KU teammates Julian Wright and Micah Downs. Mario shared his excitement with Phog.net on Wednesday night.
“It’s a great honor for me to be named within the top 24 national players,” said Chalmers. “It’s a real excitement.”
Mario’s father (who is also his coach at Bartlett High School), Ronnie Chalmers, was also thrilled to hear the news earlier on Wednesday.
“It was very exciting,” said Coach Chalmers. “We were just waiting to hear the official word. I actually found out earlier today when I got a phone call from one of the local channels wanting to line up an interview with Mario. They’d gotten the word that it was made official, so I was really excited to hear it from them.”
The elder Chalmers said the news came as a relief to his son who had dreamed of this day for a long time.
“It was a relief for him because this was something that he really wanted to make happen,” admitted Ronnie Chalmers. “He worked so hard during summer and spring of last year and all fall and all season as well. That was his goal to make the McDonald’s All-American team. We’re very proud of him.”
Mario was thrilled to hear of his own achievement, but even more excited when he found out that his future Kansas teammates, Julian Wright and Micah Downs, would be joining him in South Bend.
“That’s very exciting because we’re going to get a chance to play with each other before we get to Kansas and we’ll be able to get used to each other,” stated Chalmers.
“Before we get to Kansas” is a line most every Jayhawk fan wants to read and according to both Chalmers and his father, regardless of what happens at the McDonald’s event next month, Mario will definitely still “get to Kansas”.
“He’s going to go to the McDonald’s All-American game, play hard, have a good time and then the next stop is gonna be Kansas,” said Ronnie Chalmers.
Mario agreed, saying that regardless of a recent trend of players improving their draft stock at the yearly event and in some cases changing their future plans, his plans are to play in Lawrence next fall.
“I’m thinking I’m going to just go and have fun at the game and still come to Kansas regardless of what any NBA scout might say,” said Chalmers.
And in the meantime, “Super” Mario will keep his focus locked on finishing his senior year at Bartlett High with a state championship. According to Ronnie Chalmers, Mario has had a strong year that includes averages of 26 points, eight assists, eight steals and six rebounds per game. The head coach says his son has had to play a variety of roles do to injuries to other players on the team and Mario has flourished in each of them.
“Mario has been playing really well,” admitted Ronnie Chalmers. “We think we have a good chance to get back to state. He’s done it all as our leading scorer, rebounder, assist man and steals guy. I’m just excited for him to get down to Kansas where he can be at back at his true position. Mario is a true point guard, but he’s been playing all five positions for me at one time or another because of injuries on the team. So, Kansas is getting a well rounded player.”
Chalmers’ Bartlett High team is currently 11-7 and will begin postseason play on March 17th. The McDonald’s All-American game is slated for March 30th in South Bend, Indiana.