Best NBA player born in Alaska: Mario Chalmers
The state of Alaska hasn’t produced a whole lot of talent, given the wintery conditions on a yearly basis, but it’s still managed to produce some household NBA players. Former big man Carlos Boozer wasn’t born there, but he did grow up in Juneau, Alaska before heading to Duke University.
Another blue-chip prospect from the state is point guard Mario Chalmers. Chalmers, born in Anchorage on May 19. 1986, had a decorated career with the Kansas Jayhawks for three seasons before making the leap to the NBA.
He was named the Most Outstanding Player during the Jayhawks run to their fifth National championship in 2008. During that season, he averaged 12.8 points, 4.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 steals per contest on 46.8 percent shooting from behind the arc.
Chalmers was selected 34th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was traded to the Miami Heat on draft night. His first three seasons with the Heat were quiet until LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the squad in 2010, making him the de facto point guard of the Big 3.
He would go on to win two NBA titles in 2012 and 2013 with the Heat, playing a key role when his number was called. He put up 25 points in a decisive six-point victory in the 2012 NBA Finals over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 back on June 19, 2012.
In 2013, he led all scorers in points with a game-high 19 against the San Antonio Spurs in a 103-84 Game 2 victory on June 9. He scored 20 in their 103-100 overtime victory in Game 6 during that series as well.
Chalmers has made quite the contributions across his nine-year career in the NBA and is currently fourth all-time in Miami Heat history in 3-pointers made (657). He played a key role for the Heat and their All-Star cast during their Finals’ runs and is one of the most notable players to come out of the state of Alaska.