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Alonzo

Mourning

Alonzo Mourning was an American professional basketball player, who played most of his 15-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career for the Miami Heat winning the NBA Championship in 2006. Mourning also played for the Charlotte Hornets and New Jersey Nets.

He famously made a comeback to the sport after undergoing a kidney transplant and later won the 2006 NBA Championship with the Heat. When he retired in March 2009, Mourning became the first Miami Heat player to have his personal number (33) retired.
From Chesapeake, Virginia, Mourning was selected second overall in the 1992 Draft, behind Shaquille O’Neal, by the Charlotte Hornets. In his debut year he was named in the NBA’s All-Rookie team. After three years in Charlotte, he was traded to Miami Heat. His first spell there lasted seven seasons (1995-2002) and he was at the heart of the Pat Riley-coached Heat, averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds per game and dominating with his intimidating shot-blocking. However, because of a kidney disease, he did not play during the entire 2002/03 season and his contract was not renewed.
Mourning signed a four-year deal with the New Jersey Jets in 2003 as a free agent, but in November 2003 he retired from the NBA due to complications from his kidney disease. He underwent a successful kidney transplant and in 2004 started training with the Nets again.
He re-signed with the Heat in March 2005 and the following year the team won the NBA Finals, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 4-2. Although he was used as a reserve behind Shaquille O'Neal during the Finals, he contributed eight points, six rebounds, and five blocks in the decisive Game Six. He retired in January 2009, saying: "I'm 38-years-old and I feel like I have physically done all I can for this game." He is now Vice-President of Player Programs and Development for the Heat.
One of his most memorable moments came at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney when he had to miss the semi-final and fly home for the birth of his daughter. He then returned in time to help Team USA win the gold medal against France. His daughter is named Myka Sydney as a result.
Active in social areas, in 1997 Mourning established Alonzo Mourning Charities to help children and families living in at-risk situations. In 2003 he founded the Overtown Youth Center for underprivileged children in Miami.
In 2007, along with sports stars such as Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Tony Hawk and Cal Ripken Jr. he founded Athletes for Hope, which helps professional athletes to get involved in charitable causes and inspires millions of non-athletes to volunteer and support the community.
He is also the driving force behind Zo's Fund for Life, a campaign which seeks to raise funds for research, education and testing to fight focal glomerulosclerosis, the kidney disease he suffered.