Tonight, the Kansas Jayhawks will hang the 26th banner honoring the jersey number of a men’s basketball player. Mario Chalmer’s #15 will join the pantheon of numbers that hang proudly in Phog Allen Fieldhouse.
Mario Chalmers, presently a point guard for the Miami Heat, is best known in these parts for his heroic last second three-pointer that sent the 2008 NCAA Championship game into overtime. Chalmers’ three, referred to as “The Shot,” completed a frantic comeback by the Jayhawks against Memphis that culminated in KU taking charge and winning the game in the extra period. It was Kansas’ fifth total national title and their third NCAA National Championship.
The ceremony, scheduled during the NBA All-Star break, will be attended by Chalmers, his family, several Jayhwaks from the NBA, the ESPN “Game Day” crew, and 16,300 screaming fans. The decibel level in the Phog will surely be deafening for the ceremony. Oh yeah, the Texas Longhorns will be on hand, trying to spoil the ceremony for the Jayhawks.
In order to receive the honor of having their jersey number hang in the Phog, Jayhawk players must meet one of the following criteria: college basketball player of the year, most valuable player of the NCAA Tournament, consensus first-team All American, two-time All-American, or Academic All-American of the Year.