26 Nisan 2008

Alonzo Mourning Biography

Alonzo Harding Mourning, Jr. (born February 8, 1970, in Chesapeake, Virginia) is a American professional basketball player who plays for the NBA's Miami Heat.

Known simply as "Zo", Mourning plays at center and is 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall, and weighs 261 lb (118 kg/18.6 st). 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 is applauded for making a comeback after undergoing a kidney transplant and years later winning his first NBA Championship with the Heat. He has also played for the Charlotte Hornets and New Jersey Nets.

Mourning and his wife Tracy have one son, Alonzo III ("Trey"), and a daughter, Myka Sydney.

Alonzo's autobiography Resilience, detailing his inspirational recovery from kidney transplant surgery to win a NBA title, is scheduled for release by Random House on September 30, 2008.

NBA career

[edit] Early career

During his time at Indian River High School in Chesapeake 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. His play drew many comparisons to a younger version of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who also played at center. 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. He 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 elevated the Hornets into a 50-win team and brought 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

Friction with Johnson and contract issues forced a change, so after three years in Charlotte, he was traded to Miami, where he played for the Heat for the next seven seasons. He was the centerpiece of the Pat Riley-coached Miami 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 1999-2000 NBA season. He and Tim Hardaway led the Heat into playoffs, where the Knicks-Heat rivalry intensified.

In the 1997 NBA Playoffs, with the Heat down 3-0 to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, Mourning guaranteed a victory in Game 4. The Heat won the Game 87-80, but the Heat lost in five. 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 of due to an on-court fight with ex-teammate Larry Johnson where Knicks Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy wound up hanging 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. However, prior the start of the 2000-01 season, 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 then-rebuilding Heat.

[edit] New Jersey Nets

As a free agent, in 2003 he signed a four-year contract with the New Jersey Nets. 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 for a part of his time spent with the Nets in the 2004-05 season. However, he did not play a significant role with the Nets and openly complained to the media that he wanted out of New Jersey, especially after the team traded Kenyon Martin. [1] Mourning was traded to the Toronto Raptors on December 17, 2004. Mourning refused to report to the team and the Raptors were forced to buy out his contract, at a remaining 9 million dollars, on February 11, 2005. Team officials later said that he did not meet the medical conditions to play for the Raptors. [2] [3] Mourning then finished the season with the Miami Heat being paid a second salary, the veteran's minimum.[4]

[edit] Back with the Heat

After being unhappy at the prospect of playing for a losing franchise, 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 has been called upon as a starter due to O'Neal missing stretches due to injury. Shaq and Mourning even played together on the court at times, with Mouring 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 title "The Ultimate Warrior" amongst Miami Heat fans. 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 elusive NBA Championship in the 2006 NBA Finals against 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 played per 24 games[1], Mourning tore his patellar tendon in his right knee[2] on December 19 during the first quarter of a 117-111 OT loss in Atlanta.[3][4] The injury, which occurred on the fourth anniversary of his successful kidney transplant, would be career-threatening. But rumors have persisted about a possible return, and Mourning himself said that this wasn't the way he wanted to end his career.

Up to retirement, Mourning averages 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.

[edit] Career highlights

* NBA Champion: 2006
* 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 All-time Leading Scorer
* 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 [5]
* Won gold at the 1994 FIBA World Championship [6] and the 2000 Olympic Games with the US national team

[edit] Kidney transplant

On November 25, 2003, Mourning's cousin and a former 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 glomerular sclerosis, 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, who 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); as fate would have it, during his grandmother's funeral, Mourning received the good news that Jason Cooper was a match.

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

[edit] Charitable Work

In 1997, Alonzo 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), a degenerative kidney ailment, at the start of the 2000-2001 season, 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 funds for those not able to afford medication.

In 2007, Alonzo 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.[7]

kaynak : NBA