Kansas to retire Mario Chalmers’ jersey at halftime of February 16 game against Texas

1 Comment

The man responsible for getting Kansas to overtime in the 2008 national title game against Memphis will be given the ultimate honor on February 16, as Mario Chalmers will watch his No. 15 jersey get raised to the Allen Fieldhouse rafters at halftime of the Jayhawks’ game against Texas.

A three-time Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection, Chalmers helped lead the Jayhawks to three Big 12 regular season titles, two Final Four appearances and the program’s most recent national title.

“Mario definitely deserves to have his jersey hung,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said in the release. “He was the most outstanding player in a 2008 Final Four, which featured four number one seeds. He was as clutch of a player as we’ve ever had here.

“He was a guy that seemed like the bigger the stage, the brighter he shined. He had an orneriness and toughness that a lot people didn’t see because they saw the smile. He was an assassin on the court.”

Chalmers ranks second all-time in Kansas history with 283 steals, and he also managed to score 1,341 points during his three seasons in Lawrence. The Anchorage, Alaska native will always be remembered for the shot he hit against Memphis, but there was a lot more to his career than that single moment.

Currently playing for the Miami Heat, Chalmers will joins the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Lovelette (the only other Jayhawk to win both an NCAA and an NBA title) and Danny Manning in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters.

Chalmers also becomes the second Jayhawk of the Bill Self era to have his jersey retired, with Wayne Simien (who began his KU career playing for Roy Williams) being the first.

“I wouldn’t say I expected [to have my jersey retired], but you know something? One of my goals when I first went to KU was to make a name (for myself) and make sure my name lasts forever in Kansas history,” Chalmers said in the release.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
Leave a comment

Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

Leave a comment

Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.