Alonzo Mourning

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Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Mourning.jpg
Mourning with the Heat in 2007
Miami Heat
Personal information
Born (1970-02-08) February 8, 1970 (age 49)
Chesapeake, Virginia
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High schoolIndian River
(Chesapeake, Virginia)
CollegeGeorgetown (1988–1992)
NBA draft1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Charlotte Hornets
Playing career1992–2008
PositionCenter / Power forward
Career history
19921995Charlotte Hornets
19952002Miami Heat
20032004New Jersey Nets
20052008Miami Heat
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points14,311 (17.1 ppg)
Rebounds7,137 (8.5 rpg)
Blocks2,356 (2.8 bpg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

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

Nicknamed "Zo", Mourning played at center. Following his college basketball career at Georgetown University, his tenacity on defense twice earned him NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and perennially placed him on the NBA All-Defensive Team. Mourning made a comeback after undergoing a kidney transplant and later won the 2006 NBA Championship with the Heat. Mourning 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. In 2010, Mourning was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. On August 8, 2014, Mourning was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.[2]

Early life[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. He was the #1 recruit of the 1988 class, over Billy Owens, Kenny Williams, Shawn Kemp, Stanley Roberts, Christian Laettner, Rick Fox, and Malik Sealy, among others.

College career[edit]

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.

Professional career[edit]

Charlotte Hornets[edit]

Mourning was selected second overall in the 1992 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, behind Shaquille O'Neal and before Christian Laettner.[3] 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.[4] 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 with 4 tenths left gave the Hornets a 104–103 victory in the game and a three-games-to-one victory in the series. The Hornets lost in the second round to the New York Knicks in 5 games, with Mourning averaging 23.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in 9 playoff games. The following year, Mourning played in just 60 games, posting almost similar averages of 21.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game, but the Hornets missed the playoffs.

In the 1994–95 season, Mourning and teammate Larry Johnson led the Hornets to a 50-win season and reached 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), and played in the 1995 NBA All-Star Game where he scored 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. The Hornets lost in 4 games to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, despite Mourning posting 22 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks for the series.

Miami Heat[edit]

On November 3, 1995, after Mourning rejected Charlotte's contract extension offer worth an average of $11.2 million for seven years and knowing they would not be able to re-sign him, the Hornets traded him, along with reserves Pete Myers and LeRon Ellis in exchange for Glen Rice, Matt Geiger, Khalid Reeves and a first-round pick in the 1996 NBA draft.[5]

Mourning would immediately serve as the centerpiece of the Pat Riley-coached Heat, and in his first season in Miami he averaged 23.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks a game as Miami made the playoffs before being swept in the first round by the 72 win Chicago Bulls. Mourning played in the 1996 NBA All-Star Game and was joined by all-star point guard Tim Hardaway who arrived through a midseason trade.

In the summer of 1996 Mourning would go on to sign a 7-year $105 million contract with the Heat. In the 1996-97 season, the Heat would win a then franchise record 61 games, second in the Eastern Conference to the defending champion Bulls, and Mourning averaged 19.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. In the playoffs, Miami defeated the Orlando Magic in five games, and advanced to the conference semifinals against the New York Knicks, where the rivalry between the Heat and the New York Knicks intensified. The Knicks took a 3–1 series lead, but following a brawl between Charlie Ward and P. J. Brown late in Game 5, multiple suspensions were handed down. Mourning scored 28 points in Game 6, followed by a 22-point, 12-rebound performance in Game 7 to help Miami advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, a franchise first, to face Chicago. The Bulls took a 3–0 series lead, and Mourning guaranteed a victory in Game 4.[6] The Heat won 87–80, but they lost Game 5 100–87.

New Jersey Nets[edit]

Mourning 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.[7] 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.[8][9] Mourning then finished the season with the Miami Heat being paid a second salary, the veteran's minimum.[10]

Return to Miami[edit]

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 2004–05 season. Mourning finished the regular season ranking third in blocked shots at 2.66 per game, despite only playing 20 minutes per contest. Miami swept the Nets in the first round of the playoffs, with Mourning scoring 21 points with 9 rebounds in just 16 minutes in game 2. In the second round against the Washington Wizards, Mourning stepped in for the injured O'Neal and scored 14 points with 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in game 3 as Miami completed another four-game sweep. Miami fell in seven games to the defending champion Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, with Mourning leading the team in blocks with 3 per game for the series.

Mourning re-signed with Miami, as the Heat once again re-hauled their roster, acquiring other veterans seeking a title such as Antoine Walker and Gary Payton. Mourning continued to serve as the Heat's backup center, and early on stepped in to serve as the team's starting center after O'Neal suffered an injury. Mourning started in 20 games out of a total of 65 games played, averaging 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds while finishing third in the league with 2.7 blocks a game despite playing as a reserve. In the playoffs, Mourning continued to shine in his role as a defensive player off the bench, as Miami advanced past the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey before defeating Detroit in 6 games to advance to the 2006 NBA Finals, the first NBA Finals in franchise history and the first for Mourning. After a 2-0 deficit, Miami won all three of its home games led by the spectacular play of Dwyane Wade, and in game 6 in Dallas Mourning came off the bench to score 8 points with 6 rebounds and a team high 5 blocks to help Miami win its first NBA Championship in franchise history.

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,[11] Mourning tore his patellar tendon in his right knee[12] on December 19, 2007, during the first quarter of a loss in Atlanta.[13][14]

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 (which has since been surpassed by Dwyane Wade).


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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] In July 2014, the NBA announced that Mourning would be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August 8.

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • 3-time NBA champion: 2006 (as a player), 2012, 2013 (as vice president of player programs)
  • 7-time NBA All-Star: 1994–97, 2000–02
  • 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
  • NBA All-Rookie 1st Team: 1993
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: 2002
  • Led NBA in blocked shots twice: 1999, 2000
  • Heat franchise second leading scorer with 9,459 points
  • Won gold at the 1994 FIBA World Championship[18] and the 2000 Olympic Games with the US national team
  • Won bronze at the 1990 FIBA World Championship with the US national team[19]

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 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.[20]

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., April 2010

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.[21]

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 nine children: a son named Alonzo III ("Trey"), a daughter named Myka Sydney, and a second son named Alijah (born September 18, 2009).[22] Like his father, Trey is a member of the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team where he starts at power forward and wears his father's signature number 33 jersey. They reside in Pinecrest, Florida, where Mourning purchased a two-story, 9,786-square-foot residence for $4.5 million in 2012.[23] His son Trey played basketball at Georgetown. On June 26, 2019, Trey was included in the Miami Heat roster in the 2019 NBA Summer League.[24]

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.[25][26][27]

In 2015, Mourning was one of eight Virginians honored in the Library of Virginia's "Strong Men & Women in Virginia History" for his charitable work and for his contributions to the sport of basketball.[20]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  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
Denotes season in which Mourning won an NBA championship
* Led the league

Regular season[edit]

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


1993 Charlotte 9 9 40.8 .480 .000 .774 9.9 1.4 .7 3.4 23.8
1995 Charlotte 4 4 43.5 .421 .500 .837 13.3 2.8 .8 3.3* 22.0
1996 Miami 3 3 30.7 .486 .000 .714 6.0 1.3 .7 1.0 18.0
1997 Miami 17 17 37.1 .491 .375 .555 10.2 1.1 .6 2.7* 17.8
1998 Miami 4 4 34.5 .518 .000 .655 8.5 1.3 .8 2.5 19.3
1999 Miami 5 5 38.8 .521 .000 .653 8.2 .8 1.6 2.8 21.6
2000 Miami 10 10 37.6 .484 .000 .667 10.0 1.4 .2 3.3* 21.6
2001 Miami 3 3 30.3 .480 .000 .579 5.3 1.0 .0 1.7 11.7
2005 Miami 15 2 16.9 .705 .000 .558 4.8 .3 .3 2.2 6.1
2006 Miami 21 0 10.8 .703 .000 .667 2.9 .1 .2 1.1 3.8
2007 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]


  1. ^ Miami Herald article[dead link]
  2. ^ "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2014" (Press release). The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. April 7, 2014. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  3. ^ Augustin, Paul (July 2, 2009). "Hornets Happenings: The Five Best Hornets Draft Picks of All Time". Bleacher Report.
  4. ^ Robinson, Tom (2006). Shaquille O'Neal: Giant on and Off the Court. Enslow Publishers. p. 48. ISBN 9780766028234.
  5. ^ Cawthon, Raad; Michael Sokolov (November 4, 1995). "Hornets Forced To Deal Alonzo Mourning, Seeking $13 Million A Year, Went To Miami In A Six-player Swap. Glen Rice Became A Hornet". Philadelphia Inquirer. Associated Press. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  6. ^ Brown, Clifton (May 25, 1997). "Killing the Bulls, With Boredom". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  7. ^ "NBA Trade Winds: Raptors Trade Vince Carter to Nets". December 18, 2004. Archived from the original on June 18, 2006.
  8. ^ "Toronto Raptors buyout Alonzo Mourning, end contract". February 11, 2005. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  9. ^ "PRO BASKETBALL; Mourning Is Expected To Rejoin the Heat Soon". The New York Times. February 16, 2005. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  10. ^ Thomsen, Ian (December 15, 2005). "Mourning, Nets share hard feelings". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  11. ^ "Alonzo Mourning Stats, Bio". ESPN. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  12. ^ "Heat's Mourning tears knee tendon while playing defense vs. Hawks". ESPN. December 20, 2007. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  13. ^ Odum, Charles (December 20, 2007). "Johnson, Hawks Outlast Heat in OT". National Basketball Association. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  14. ^ "Atlanta nudges Miami in OT behind Johnson's 3-point play". ESPN. Associated Press. December 19, 2007. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  15. ^ "NBA Heat to Retire Mourning's Jersey". Yahoo! Sports. March 1, 2009.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Inductee Details – Alonzo Mourning". Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  17. ^ "Zo' Busy: Mourning To Work For Heat's Front Office". Retrieved June 27, 2009.[dead link]
  18. ^ Pekmic, Asmir (January 19, 2015). "Alonzo Mourning, the NBA Legend". Archived from the original on January 24, 2015.
  19. ^ "Eleventh World Championship – 1990". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 28, 2007.
  20. ^ a b "Strong Men & Women in Virginia History: Alonzo Harding "Zo" Mourning Jr. (b. 1970–)". Library of Virginia. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  21. ^ "Athletes for Hope". Athletes for Hope. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  22. ^ "Celebrity Baby News Via Alonzo and Tracy Mourning: It's a Boy!". Blackcelebkids.Com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  23. ^ "Ex-Heat star Mourning buys Pinecrest house". Daily Business Review. October 23, 2012.
  24. ^ "HEAT Announce Summer League Information". June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  25. ^ Miami Herald article Archived August 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Clary, Mike (July 21, 2011). "Suit targets Ex-Heat Alonzo Mourning, claiming he left crash victim too soon". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  27. ^ Anderson, Curt (July 20, 2011). "Ex-Heat star Mourning sued over traffic crash". Deseret News. Retrieved June 17, 2012.

External links[edit]