Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 2, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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OLATHE, Kan. - Former University of Kansas guard Mario Chalmers hosted a basketball camp for kids Wednesday in Olathe, Kan.
Chalmers, who grew up in Alaska, says the Kansas City area is a surrogate home for him and he enjoys coming back and helping the community.
"Giving back to the community has always been a big part of my life," the current NBA champion Miami Heat guard said. "When I got into the position I am in, I wanted to give back and give kids the opportunity to hang around NBA basketball players and receive the type of training we do."
Chalmers says he hopes the kids who attended his camp not only learned valuable basketball skills, but important life skills as well.
"My main thing I want to get across to them is never let someone tell you that you can't do anything. That was my main thing growing up. I had a lot of people telling me, 'I wouldn't make it, I wouldn't do this, I wouldn't do that,'" Chalmers said. "I just tell them work hard everyday and don't let anyone stop you from what you want to do."
During the camp, The NCAA champion guard said he spoke with the current KU basketball team about what it takes to win a title.
"I told them, with Coach (Bill) Self, just listen. He told us just play defense and we could do whatever we want on offense. Once we figured that out and how to get our defense going, just clicked and we were able to play together and just have fun," Chalmers said.
Last month, Chalmers won his second straight NBA title with the Miami Heat. He says while he is still enjoying his time off, next year with returning league MVP Lebron James, looks promising.
"We are going for the three-peat. Then next summer, basically the contracts of our whole team are up. This might be our last hoorah together, so we want to go out with a bang," he said.
The proceeds for Wednesday's Miracle Shot Basketball Camp go towards the Mario Chalmers foundation benefiting at-risk youth.
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