On Monday (April 7th), the 2014 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame was announced and local native Alonzo Mourning headlined those elected for enshrinement. Mourning headlines the class that includes six-time All-Star Mitch Richmond, former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, former Maryland coach Gary Williams and the iconic 1970s Immaculata University women’s basketball championship teams.
Mourning, the Chesapeake, Virginia native, averaged 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game during his 15 NBA seasons. He was drafted second overall by the Charlotte Hornets in 1992 but played most of his 15-year career with the Miami Heat. Mourning, a seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, won the 2006 NBA Championship with the Miami Heat and became the first Heat player to have his number retired.
Mourning enjoyed an historic high school career at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, leading the team to 51 straight victories and a state title in 1987 during his junior year. During his senior season, Mourning averaged 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 blocked shots per game and was named Player of the Year by USA Today, Parade, Gatorade, and Naismith. Mourning went on to play collegiately at Georgetown University and led the nation in blocked shots during his freshman year. He also received All-American honors during his senior season at Georgetown.
After retiring in 2009, Mourning rejoined the Heat as the Vice President of Player Programs and Development, where he is involved in community outreach and the mentoring of young players.
Mourning, who battled through a kidney transplant during his NBA career, will be remembered for his passion for the game and his intensity on the court. His induction into the Hall of Fame will be a fitting end to his phenomenal career. However, in his own words, “there is more to Alonzo Mourning that what they’ve seen on the court. My legacy off the court will overshadow the things I’ve done on the court.”
* On a side note, Mourning’s son, Trey Mourning, a 6’10” senior forward at Ransom Everglades High in Miami (FL), is beginning to make his own mark on the basketball world. He was recently named as a Class 4A First Team All-State selection after averaging 29 points and 10 rebounds during his senior year. He also narrowed his college list to Duke, Florida, and Georgetown.