KU's Chalmers to enter NBA draft

LAWRENCE | For the past two weeks, Mario Chalmers has been too busy thinking about the future to spend much time reliving the past.

Sure, he has seen the cover of Sports Illustrated more times than he can count. That’s been pretty cool. And he has posed for more photographs with fans than usual, too. No surprise there. But Chalmers hasn’t watched the replay of the NCAA championship game yet. He hasn’t reveled in the glory of what is already being called the biggest shot in Kansas history, the one that flew off his fingertips with three seconds left and the Jayhawks trailing by three.

“I’m still waiting for the right time,” Chalmers said.

Chalmers won’t have much time now. He announced on Wednesday afternoon that he will declare for the 2008 NBA Draft, joining teammates Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur in the draft pool. Chalmers, like Arthur, will not hire an agent, giving him the option of returning to KU.

Chalmers said that he will stay in the draft if he feels confident that he will be a first-round pick. As of now, he says, he is being projected between Nos. 25-35, which puts him firmly on the first-round bubble.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing if I can work myself higher,” Chalmers said. “But if I hear anything that’s not in the first round, I’m just going to come back.”

Chalmers, a junior guard, will always cherish his shot against Memphis, the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player award that followed and his national championship season. But with the fruition of one dream came the emergence of another.

“That shot is a one-in-a-million chance,” Chalmers said. “I’ll probably never have a chance again to shoot a shot on that big of a stage. That was a good shot. It brought us a national championship. But right now, I think it’s time to move on from that.”