Friday, May 24, 2013
“Super Mario” Chalmers Back In Anchorage To Inspire A New Generation Of Ballers
From Muldoon to Miami, Bartlett High grad brings the heat to “Miracle Shot Camp”
ANCHORAGE—Mario Chalmers of Miami Heat held on Wednesday his first ever basketball camp in the community in which he was raised; a camp Chalmers says he’s always wanted to hold to show Anchorage kids what hard work can do.
Ballers of all ages, shapes and sizes showed up, eager to learn how the Bartlett High School graduate made it from the courts of Muldoon to basketball's biggest stage.
“It’s Mario Chalmers camp,” said Shaquan Rhoades, an Eagle River High School junior. “I just want to make myself better and I want to be a better teammate.”
Chalmers, point guard for Miami Heat, is one of three Alaskans to ever play ball in the National Basketball Association
“I had people looking out for me growing up,” Chalmers said. “It just kept me going.”
That support is something Chalmers says he’ll never forget.
“I heard that all the time: I would never make it, I would just be one of those kids that would be good in high school, nothing in college,” Chalmers said.
So the Bartlett graduate is back in the gymnasium of his alma mater to show other kids the dream is, indeed, possible—no matter what stands in the way.
“Growing up, I didn’t really have anybody from Alaska to come back and talk to the kids and inspire us and encourage us,” Chalmers said. “So my whole reason is coming back to the community and get kids off the streets. Once I knew I made it out, I wasn't going to be one of those people that come back and just sit at home.”
Chalmers’ camp is about giving young kids something to believe in. What better person than Chalmers, who’s walked in their shoes and made it all the way to the top?
“I already picked up a lot of moves,” said Grace Williams, a South High School freshman. “Some different fake-outs, and close-outs.”
“They are out here working hard to become better basketball players,” said Antonio Wyche, head coach at West High School. “And that's what's important if you put in the hours. You will become a professional if you put in those long hours like Mario Chalmers did.”
“Any time that you feel tired or you don't want to go to the gym or anything like that, just think about people that said you can't do it,” Chalmers said.