Alonzo Mourning

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Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Mourning.jpg
Mourning with the Heat
No. 33
Center
Personal information
Born (1970-02-08) February 8, 1970 (age 44)
Chesapeake, Virginia
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (208 cm)
Listed weight 261 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school Indian River
(Chesapeake, Virginia)
College Georgetown (1988–1992)
NBA draft 1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Charlotte Hornets
Pro playing career 1992–2008
Career history
19921995 Charlotte Hornets
19952002 Miami Heat
20032004 New Jersey Nets
20052008 Miami Heat
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 14,311 (17.1 ppg)
Rebounds 7,137 (8.5 rpg)
Blocks 2,356 (2.8 bpg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Alonzo Harding Mourning, Jr. (born February 8, 1970) is an American former professional basketball player, who played most of his 15-year NBA career for the Miami Heat.

Nicknamed "Zo", Mourning played at center. His tenacity on defense twice earned him NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and perennially placed him on the NBA All-Defensive Team. He made a comeback after undergoing a kidney transplant and later won the 2006 NBA Championship with the Heat. He has also played for the Charlotte Hornets and New Jersey Nets. On March 30, 2009, Mourning became the first Miami Heat player to have his number retired.[1] Since June 26, 2009, Mourning has served as Vice President of Player Programs and Development for the Heat. On April 7, 2014, it was announced that Mourning will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.[2]

Basketball career[edit]

Early career[edit]

During his time at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, he led the team to 51 straight victories and a state title his junior year (1987). As a senior he averaged 25 points, 15 rebounds and 12 blocked shots a game. He was named Player of the Year by USA Today, Parade, Gatorade, and Naismith. Mourning played college basketball for the Georgetown University Hoyas. He led the nation in blocked shots his freshman year and was an All-American his last year there.

Charlotte Hornets[edit]

Mourning was selected second overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, behind Shaquille O'Neal. Mourning was named to the league's all-rookie team in 1993 after averaging 21.0 pts, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.47 blocks. He finished second to Shaquille O'Neal in rookie of the year voting. He posted the highest scoring average of any rookie in Hornets history. Mourning and O'Neal were the first NBA rookies since David Robinson in 1989–90 to average 20 or more points and 10-plus rebounds in their first seasons. Mourning shattered Charlotte's blocked-shots records, becoming the Hornets' all-time career leader in the 49th game of the season. The greatest moment of Mourning's rookie season came on May 5, 1993 in Game 4 of a first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. His 20-footer at the buzzer gave the Hornets a 104–103 victory in the game and a three-games-to-one victory in the series.

In the 1994–95 season, Mourning and teammate Larry Johnson led the Hornets to a 50-win season and took them to the playoffs. Mourning ranked first on the team in scoring (21.3 ppg), rebounding (9.9 rpg), blocked shots (2.92 per game), and field goal percentage (.519).

Miami Heat[edit]

Friction with Johnson and contract issues forced a change, so after three years in Charlotte, he was traded to the Miami Heat. He played for the Heat for seven seasons, signing a $105 million contract with the team in 1996.[3] He was the centerpiece of the Pat Riley-coached Heat, averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, and dominating the paint with his intimidating shot-blocking. He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award twice during this period and was named into the All-NBA First Team after leading the Heat in scoring (20.1 ppg), field-goal percentage (.511), rebounds (11.0), blocked shots (3.9) during the 1998–99 NBA season. He and Tim Hardaway led the Heat into the 1997 playoffs, where the rivalry between the Heat and the New York Knicks intensified. The Heat and Knicks faced off in the conference semifinals that year and the Knicks led 3 games to 1, but the Heat were able to overcome the deficit and win the series to advance to their first conference finals. The series was marked by a brawl in the fifth game in which multiple suspensions were handed down.

In the next round with the Heat down 3–0 to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, Mourning guaranteed a victory in Game 4.[4] The Heat won the Game 87–80 but lost the series in five games. The next season, Miami would be eliminated in the first round by the Knicks, a series in which Mourning was suspended for the 5th and deciding game due to an on-court fight with ex-teammate Larry Johnson, and Knicks Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy hung onto Mourning's leg in an attempt to break it up. Miami would also be eliminated by the Knicks in the playoffs the following two seasons.

In 2000 Miami underwent an overhaul to attempt to put together the pieces to win a championship, and expectations leading up to the season were high. Prior the start of the 2000–01 season, however, Mourning was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a disease of the kidneys that had caused him to miss the first five months of that season. Even after the diagnosis, Mourning returned and played in the 2002 NBA All-Star Game. Because his condition worsened, Mourning did not play during the entire 2002–03 season and his expiring contract was not renewed by the rebuilding Heat.

New Jersey Nets[edit]

He signed a four-year deal with the New Jersey Nets in 2003 as a free agent. But on November 25, 2003, Mourning retired from the NBA due to complications from his kidney disease. On December 19 of that year he underwent a successful kidney transplant. In 2004 he started practicing with the Nets again, and made the team's regular season roster during the 2004–05 season. He did not play a significant role with the Nets, however, and openly complained to the media that he wanted out of New Jersey, especially after the team traded away Kenyon Martin.[5] Mourning was traded to the Toronto Raptors on December 17, 2004. Mourning never reported to the Raptors, and was bought out of his contract at a remaining 9 million dollars on February 11, 2005. Raptors team officials later said that he did not meet the medical conditions to play for the team.[6][7] Mourning then finished the season with the Miami Heat being paid a second salary, the veteran's minimum.[8]

Back with the Heat[edit]

After being unhappy at the prospect of playing for a losing franchise,[citation needed] Mourning re-signed with the Heat on March 1, 2005. His role was reduced as a backup because of superstar Shaquille O'Neal, although he was called upon as a starter due to O'Neal missing stretches due to injury. O'Neal and Mourning even played together on the court at times, with Mourning playing power forward. Because of physical limitations, his minutes were reduced, but was still a steady contributor. Mourning's tenacious defense, steady offense, and all around hustle helped the Heat gain and maintain the second-best record in the NBA's Eastern conference during the 2005–06 season; his intensity had earned him the nickname "The Ultimate Warrior" amongst Miami Heat fans.[citation needed] Mourning finished the regular season ranking third in blocked shots at 2.66 per game, despite only playing 20 minutes per contest.

The Miami Heat and Mourning finally won the NBA Championship in the 2006 NBA Finals, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 4 games to 2. Although he was used as a reserve center behind Shaquille O'Neal during the Finals, he contributed 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 blocks in the decisive Game 6 of the series and was a strong force throughout.

After winning the championship, Mourning announced that he would return to the Heat in 2006–07 to defend their title, despite receiving offers of more money from other teams, including the San Antonio Spurs. In 2007, Mourning announced he would return for one more year with the Heat and his 15th season. "It will definitely be my last year," Mourning said. After starting the season on a solid note averaging 6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.75 blocks in just over 16 minutes played per 24 games,[9] Mourning tore his patellar tendon in his right knee[10] on December 19, 2007, during the first quarter of a loss in Atlanta.[11][12] The injury, which occurred on the fourth anniversary of his successful kidney transplant, was said[who?] to be career-threatening, but rumors persisted[who?] about a return come the 2008–09 season, and Mourning himself said that this wasn't the way he wanted to end his career considering all he had been through already.

Mourning has averaged the most blocks in the NBA per 48 minutes with 5.46.

During the 2007–08 season, he became the Heat's all-time leader in points scored.

Retirement[edit]

Mourning announced his retirement from the NBA on January 22, 2009. In his press conference he said, "I'm 38 years old and I feel like I have physically done all I can for this game."[citation needed] One month later, the Heat announced that they would retire Mourning's number 33 jersey, making him the first Heat player to be so honored.[13] The jersey retirement ceremony occurred on March 30, 2009, when the Heat hosted the Orlando Magic. During the extended halftime ceremony, Mourning was introduced by Florida Governor Charlie Crist; former Georgetown University basketball coach John Thompson; Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing; Heat players Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem; and Heat head coach Pat Riley.

In May 2009 he was named to the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, which honors athletes, coaches and administrators who contributed to sports in southeastern Virginia. In the following April, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding high school, collegiate, and professional career as well as his commitment to volunteer service in the communities in which he has lived and worked throughout his life. [4]

Mourning announced his return to the Heat in late June 2009; he holds the position of Vice President of Player Programs and Development, which covers community outreach and mentoring young players.[14]

Career highlights[edit]

  • NBA champion: 2006 (as a player), 2012, 2013 (as vice president of player programs)
  • All-NBA First Team: 1999
  • All-NBA Second Team: 2000
  • 2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 1999, 2000
  • 2-time NBA All-Defensive First Team: 1999, 2000
  • 7-time NBA All-Star: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Heat franchise second leading scorer with 9,459 points
  • Led NBA in blocked shots: 3.91 bpg in 1999
  • NBA All-Rookie 1st Team in 1993
  • Won bronze at the 1990 FIBA World Championship with the US national team[15]
  • Won gold at the 1994 FIBA World Championship[16] and the 2000 Olympic Games with the US national team

Kidney transplant[edit]

On November 25, 2003, Mourning's cousin and a retired U. S. Marine, Jason Cooper, was visiting Mourning's gravely ill grandmother in the hospital. Mourning's father was present and informed Cooper that Mourning was retiring that very same day from the NBA because of a life-threatening kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, the same problem that Sean Elliott had in 1999. Cooper asked if there was anything he could do, and began to contemplate donating one of his kidneys to his estranged cousin, whom he had not seen in 25 years and whom he only knew through basketball. Cooper was tested for compatibility, along with many other family members and friends (including fellow NBA center and good friend Patrick Ewing); during his grandmother's funeral, Mourning received the news that Jason Cooper was a match.

Mourning received Cooper's left kidney on December 19, 2003.

Charitable work[edit]

Alonzo Mourning with former U.S. President Bill Clinton during Clinton Global Initiative University Day of Service at Carrfour Supportive Housing community for formerly homeless families in Miami, Florida.

In 1997, Mourning established Alonzo Mourning Charities Inc. to aid in the development of children and families living in at-risk situations and provides support and services that enhance the lives of youth of promise.

After being diagnosed with focal glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), Mourning launched Zo's Fund for Life, a campaign which seeks to raise funds for research, education, and testing to fight focal glomerulosclerosis. Funds are allocated toward research for a cure, education for doctors and the general public, testing for early detection and a fund for those not able to afford medication.

In 2007, Mourning along with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Mia Hamm, Jeff Gordon, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, and Cal Ripken, Jr. founded Athletes for Hope, a charitable organization, which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes and inspires millions of non-athletes to volunteer and support the community.[17]

In 2003 he also founded the Overtown Youth Center for underprivileged kids, located in Miami, Florida. The program aims to inspire, empower, and enrich these children while teaching them to become positive contributing citizens.

In 2009, the Miami-Dade school board named a new high school in North Miami, Florida in his honor, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High Biscayne Bay Campus.

Personal life[edit]

Mourning and his wife Tracy have three children: a son named Alonzo III ("Trey"), a daughter named Myka Sydney, and a second son named Alijah (born September 18, 2009).[18] They reside in Pinecrest, Florida, where Mourning purchased a two-story, 9,786-square-foot residence for $4.5 million in 2012.[19]

In July 2011 Mourning was sued by Miami-based lawyer Spencer Aronfeld on behalf of Alberto Candoleria for crashing his car into another car and then leaving the scene of the accident. The Florida Highway Patrol later charged Mourning with leaving the scene of a car accident. The accident allegedly occurred after he left Chris Bosh's wedding in Miami Beach after 3:00 A.M. Candoleria had just been in an accident when Mourning struck his car. He did not know if he was in his car when Mourning hit him as he claimed to have amnesia.[20][21][22]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1992–93 Charlotte 78 78 33.9 .511 .000 .781 10.3 1.0 .3 3.5 21.0
1993–94 Charlotte 60 59 33.6 .505 .000 .762 10.2 1.4 .5 3.1 21.5
1994–95 Charlotte 77 77 38.2 .519 .324 .761 9.9 1.4 .6 2.9 21.3
1995–96 Miami 70 70 38.2 .523 .300 .685 10.4 2.3 1.0 2.7 23.2
1996–97 Miami 66 65 35.2 .534 .111 .642 9.9 1.6 .8 2.9 19.8
1997–98 Miami 58 56 33.4 .551 .000 .665 9.6 .9 .7 2.2 19.2
1998–99 Miami 46 46 38.1 .511 .000 .652 11.0 1.6 .7 3.9 20.1
1999–00 Miami 79 78 34.8 .551 .000 .711 9.5 1.6 .5 3.7 21.7
2000–01 Miami 13 3 23.5 .518 .000 .564 7.8 .9 .3 2.4 13.6
2001–02 Miami 75 74 32.7 .516 .333 .657 8.4 1.2 .4 2.5 15.7
2003–04 New Jersey 12 0 17.9 .465 .000 .882 2.3 .7 .2 .5 8.0
2004–05 New Jersey 18 14 25.4 .453 .000 .593 7.1 .8 .3 2.3 10.4
2004–05 Miami 19 3 12.9 .516 .000 .564 3.7 .2 .2 1.7 5.0
2005–06 Miami 65 20 20.0 .597 .000 .594 5.5 .2 .2 2.7 7.8
2006–07 Miami 77 43 20.4 .560 .000 .601 4.5 .2 .2 2.3 8.6
2007–08 Miami 25 0 15.6 .547 .000 .592 3.7 .3 .2 1.7 6.0
Career 838 686 31.0 .527 .247 .692 8.5 1.1 .5 2.8 17.1
All-Star 4 1 18.8 .545 .000 .667 4.8 1.0 .8 2.0 10.0

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1992–93 Charlotte 9 9 40.8 .480 .000 .774 9.9 1.4 .7 3.4 23.8
1994–95 Charlotte 4 4 43.5 .421 .500 .837 13.3 2.8 .8 3.3 22.0
1995–96 Miami 3 3 30.7 .486 .000 .714 6.0 1.3 .7 1.0 18.0
1996–97 Miami 17 17 37.1 .491 .375 .555 10.2 1.1 .6 2.7 17.8
1997–98 Miami 4 4 34.5 .518 .000 .655 8.5 1.3 .8 2.5 19.3
1998–99 Miami 5 5 38.8 .521 .000 .653 8.2 .8 1.6 2.8 21.6
1999–00 Miami 10 10 37.6 .484 .000 .667 10.0 1.4 .2 3.3 21.6
2000–01 Miami 3 3 30.3 .480 .000 .579 5.3 1.0 .0 1.7 11.7
2004–05 Miami 15 2 16.9 .705 .000 .558 4.8 .3 .3 2.2 6.1
2005–06 Miami 21 0 10.8 .703 .000 .667 2.9 .1 .2 1.1 3.8
2006–07 Miami 4 0 13.8 .909 .000 .385 2.0 .3 .0 .8 6.3
Career 95 57 27.3 .512 .368 .649 7.0 .9 .5 2.3 13.6

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ [http://www.hoophall.com/news/2014/4/7/naismith-memorial-basketball-hall-of-fame-announces-class-of.html
  3. ^ By Lynn HirschbergPublished: November 17, 1996 (1996-11-17). "Mourning headed to New Jersey". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  4. ^ By Clifton BrownPublished: May 25, 1997 (1997-05-25). "New York Times - Killing the Bulls, With Boredom". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "– Toronto Raptors buyout Alonzo Mourning, end contract". Insidehoops.com. 2005-02-11. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  7. ^ "PRO BASKETBALL; Mourning Is Expected To Rejoin the Heat Soon –". New York Times. 2005-02-16. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  8. ^ "SI.com – Writers – Ian Thomsen: Mourning, Nets share hard feelings – Thursday December 15, 2005 5:54PM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  9. ^ "ESPN – Alonzo Mourning Stats, News, Photos – Miami Heat – NBA Basketball". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  10. ^ "Heat's Mourning tears knee tendon while playing defense vs. Hawks". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  11. ^ By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer (2007-12-20). "Johnson, Hawks Outlast Heat in OT". Nba.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  12. ^ 7:00 PM ET, December 19, 2007Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA (2007-12-19). "Atlanta nudges Miami in OT behind Johnson's 3-point play". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  13. ^ NBA Heat to Retire Mourning's Jersey Yahoo Sports, March 1, 2009
  14. ^ Zo' Busy: Mourning To Work For Heat's Front Office. Retrieved on June 27, 2009.
  15. ^ 1990 USA Basketball[dead link]
  16. ^ 1994 USA Basketball[dead link]
  17. ^ "Athletes for Hope". Athletes for Hope. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  18. ^ 9:46:am. "Black Celebrity Kids,babies,and their Parents » CELEBRITY BABY NEWS VIA ALONZO AND TRACY MOURNING: IT’S A BOY!". Blackcelebkids.Com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  19. ^ "Ex-Heat star Mourning buys Pinecrest house". Daily Business Review. October 23, 2012. 
  20. ^ Miami Herald http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/25/2330229/fhp-zo-charged-with-leaving-the.html
  21. ^ [3][dead link]
  22. ^ Anderson, Curt. "Ex-Heat star Mourning sued over traffic crash". Deseret News. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 

External links[edit]