Keeping Up with Alonzo Mourning
By Zachary Devita
Photography by Claudio Beier
Alonzo Mourning will always be remembered as the NBA player who put himself on the map for his passion and hard work on the hardwood. During his career, he was a seven-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and won an NBA Championship in 2006 with the Miami Heat.
When he retired in 2009 at the age of 38, his number, 33, became the only retired number in Heat history. One of the most influential figures during his time in the NBA is former Heat coach and current Team President Pat Riley.
“I’m a little biased, but it has to be Pat Riley. While he’s known for his strategic coaching tactics, to his players he was a motivator but not only that, he got the best out of his players. And I think that’s a key to being a great coach, not just drawing up a great play. I think it’s about you getting your players to believe in the plan you’ve set out,” shared Alonzo.
Retirement hasn’t stopped Alonzo from being involved with the NBA and the Miami Heat. “I’m the Vice President of Player Programs and Development for the Miami Heat, which consumes a lot of my time.”
Beyond being involved with the Miami Heat, Alonzo has been working tirelessly with the Mourning Family Foundation, which he established in 1997. The mission of the charity is to help the development of children and families living in at-risk situations and providing support and services that will enhance their lives.
“There’s a hole that needs to be filled as it pertains to all the obstacles that young people are trying to overcome. We just have to accept responsibility and understand that what it really comes down to is helping young people accomplish their goals.”
Alonzo has also partnered with the Warren Henry Auto Group to benefit his non-profit organizations. Some of these special events included sponsoring a donation drive to assist in collecting toys, gifts, and donations that were gifted to students of the Toys for Tots program, in which Warren Henry Auto Group has participated in for several years. They also assisted in the Back to School Drive, which involved being a location point that collected school supplies for children in need.
Although retirement keeps him busy, Alonzo still misses some nuances and parts of the game. “I miss the comradery more than anything. The playoffs were something that I used to look forward to and I loved to compete at that level. But the long and short of it, I miss the competitiveness and being around my teammates.”
For now, Alonzo continues to build his strong relationship with the community around him and push the young players on the Miami Heat for a bright future for not only themselves, but for the team as well.
For more information, please visit www.mourningfamilyfoundation.org & www.warrenhenryauto.com