01 Oct Former Miami Heat Star Alonzo Mourning Proves His Greatness Off-Court
By Melanie Camacho | October 1, 2015 | People
After a legacy-making career, retired Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning continues to make an impression on his South Florida community.
Alonzo Mourning goes up for a slam dunk against the Detroit Pistons during a home game at American Airlines Arena during the 2000 season.
Alonzo Mourning may have had his number 33 Miami Heat jersey hoisted high above the rafters in 2009 (the first Heat jersey ever to be retired), but the NBA Hall-of-Famer and cherished Miami resident is far from sitting on the sidelines.
After an impressive 16 years in the league, Mourning had amassed a remarkable number of career accomplishments. With 14,311 points, 7,137 rebounds, and 2,356 blocks with the Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, and Charlotte Hornets, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time NBA All- Star was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
But it’s his impact off the court that probably has made the biggest impression. Mourning announced a brief retirement on October 16, 2000, due to a rare genetic kidney disease, only to return triumphantly after recovering from a kidney transplant. That’s when he began dedicating his post-basketball career to a full-court press of altruism.
Apart from founding the Mourning Family Foundation, an organization that supports and improves the lives of children and families through advocacy and education, in 1997 with his wife, Tracy, he’s raised more than $2 million for education and patient treatment for those suffering from the same rare disease he’s overcome. In 2003, he opened the Overtown Youth Center for children and families to participate in recreational and academic activities, and last June, Mourning, along with Housing Trust Group, broke ground on Courtside Family Apartments, an affordable-housing project in the Overtown neighborhood.
Through his generosity, Mourning still retains an on-court presence as vice president of Player Programs and Development for the Miami Heat, lending encouragement and personal insight to current players. “I want people to say I wasn’t just a basketball player,” Mourning said in 2014. “I want to be known as a community leader, an activist, someone who stimulated social change.”
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