Life 101…Personally Speaking is an educational yet informal interview program hosted on the campus of Nova Southeastern University.
Upon graduating from Georgetown University in 1992 with a degree in Sociology, Alonzo was drafted in the First round, second pick overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA draft.
After completing a successful three years with the Hornets a series of transactions led Alonzo to seven years with The Miami Heat and then 1.5 seasons with The New Jersey Nets. In the end Alonzo headed back to Miami in 2005 as a free agent. Here he led his team to the NBA finals and the franchises first Championship in the 2005-2006 season. Alonzo is also a seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year (1999 & 2000) and was a top ten candidate for the award for the 2005-2006 season. He is currently among the league’s leaders in blocked shots, field goal percentage and rebounds per game. Impressing others with the vigor and tenacity that he has put into being a defensive weapon for his team and an offensive nightmare for his opponents, Alonzo was selected to join an elite group of NBA players who represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
After being diagnosed with Focal Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a degenerative kidney ailment, at the start of the 2000-2001 season, Alonzo personally lead a campaign to raise minimum of $2 million in funds for research, education, and testing to fight FSGS. He returned to the court the same year to play in the final 13 games of the season. Off the court, Alonzo has dedicated himself to creating positive and lasting changes in the lives of children. He has focused his community involvement on becoming an outspoken advocate for youth initiatives and foster care programs that assist abused, abandoned and neglected kids.
Alonzo’s charitable efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2006 he was the fourth Heat member to receive the NBA Community Assist Award, awarded by the NBA to honor a player who reflects the leagues passion to give back. In 2003 he received the National Urban League’s Outstanding Community Service Award, and the Silver Medallion Community Service Award by the National Conference for Community and Justice. In 2002 he also received the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Sportsmanship Award, which is given to coaches or players for exemplary community efforts.
Alonzo believes his passion for helping children is most directly related to his foster mother Fanny Threet. He vividly remembers the guidance and direction that she gave him as a child. Ms. Threet, along with Alonzo’s biological parents and countless others, have made a tremendous impact on his life and as a result he is committed to making a difference in the lives of others.
Spearheaded by Mourning, Alonzo Mourning Charities (AM Charities), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public fundraising foundation, was created to provide support and services that enhance the lives of youth of promise. Since 1997, AM Charities has raised more than $6.5 million for various organizations that aid in the development of children and families living in at-risk situations.
In addition to supporting other non-profit organizations, Mourning has focused his attention to stimulating the development of youth centers. With the help of donors, Mourning opened the first center in 2003 in the historic area of Overtown, in South Florida, known as the Overtown Youth Center.
Under the AM Charities umbrella, the Honey Shine Mentoring Program was founded by Tracy Wilson Mourning in 2002 to provide mentoring experiences that nurture the mind, body and soul of young women, between the ages of 8 to 18, living in at-risk situations, by enlightening their paths and creating balance in their young lives.
Currently, Alonzo has expanded his fundraising efforts to include more than seven annual events held throughout the country.
Out of the spotlight and at home, Alonzo and his wife Tracy enjoy spending time with their son Trey, and daughter Myka and maintain an active involvement in various charitable programs. Tracy has her own clothing line, Honey Child, a lifestyle clothing collection of separates that give women the spiritual freedom to dress and reflect who they are and what they are feeling. They are also supporters of numerous organizations that work to improve the lives of countless individuals.