For most high school basketball players there is a checklist of things that they would like to achieve. Generally included on that list are making the all-state team, winning a state championship, getting recruited to a big time program and making the McDonald’s All-American team. Each step is a little harder but after playing in last week’s McDonald’s game future Kansas Jayhawk Mario Chalmers has accomplished each of those goals.
“It’s a dream, seeing Michael Jordan and them back in the day and knowing that I finally made it to,” said Chalmers who scored 20 points during the game. “Whenever they mention Jordan or guys like that as having played in the game they will have to mention my name too so it’s a great honor and a privilege.”
Already considered one of the premier players in the country, Chalmers came out and showed why he could be the premier point guard heading to college next year. He is a deadly shooter -- as evidenced by his victory in the three point contest -- from deep, quick off the dribble and has a penchant for picking opponents pockets.
Perhaps more importantly, Chalmers has gotten to know future teammates Micah Downs and Julian Wright a little better on and off the court. As it is, he can’t wait to get to Lawrence so that they can get to work.
“It’s been fun because that is how it’s going to be next year when we get used to playing with each other,” said Chalmers.
The 6-2 ½ guard is also looking forward to developing some rivalries on the college level. Actually, Chalmers has already developed a pretty good rivalry with future Oklahoma State Cowboy Byron Eaton and can’t wait to get a piece of him on the next level.
“It’s going to be fun going against Byron, I like to call him the bruiser,” said Chalmers. “He’s still my boy though and on the court we really get after it. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to be next year. Me and Julian (Wright) keep telling him and Gerald (Green) that it is going to be over.
“That Oklahoma State rivalry is going to be a lot of fun because Byron and Gerald Green have been talking a lot of junk. We’re going to have to go in there and beat them.”
With his high school career pretty much behind him -- Chalmers has one more All-Star game, the Derby Classic in Louisville (KY) to play in -- the slick guard can’t help but look past his days at Anchorage (AK) Bartlett and towards his future at Kansas. After all, there is still plenty of work left to do before he arrives in Lawrence.
“I’ve got to get a lot stronger that’s that the thing that I really see is a difference in my game right now, I’ve got the quickness,” said Chalmers. “I think all that criticism can help me and I know that a lot of people say that I play down to my competition and that I don’t jump enough on my shot but I’m going to work on it.
“I just can’t wait to get to Kansas next year. I’m looking forward to going in there and knowing that I’m going to be playing against the best every night motivates me.”