"A South Florida Hero"
DUO Magazine sat down with Alonzo Mourning, professional basketball player, founder of the Alonzo Mourning Charities, husband and father extraordinaire, to discuss his perspectives on life, love, and his pursuit to bring happiness to the South Florida Community.
DUO (D): First and foremost, we thank you for taking the time in your busy schedule to spend time with DUO Magazine. Speaking of busy schedules, Alonzo, what is it that you do in your spare time? Is there any?
ALONZO (A): During my spare time, I bond with my family and I also continue to build my foundation [Alonzo Mourning Charities and Zo’s Fund for Life]. When I am not with my family or in business meetings for the charities I spend time golfing, which is one of my favorite sports to play outside of basketball.
D:We know how important family is to you. Let’s start with your gorgeous wife, Tracy. As busy as she is with her own part of Alonzo Mourning Charities, the Honey Shine Mentoring Program, where is it that you take Tracy on that “perfect date” when you have alone time?
A: For the perfect date, I would plan a trip for us to the South of France to spend time together.
D: And your kids?Where does Dad take them for quality time?
A: I get to spend quality time with my children in the mornings as they prepare for school. I enjoy being part of that morning ritual that all of us have gone through growing up. I also enjoy taking them to the beach. We can do this year-round. It is definitely one of the benefits of living in Miami.
D: Now is your Moment of Truth. Do you have any fears? Any secrets?
A: I have learned there is nothing to fear when you have faith in a higher power. My faith sustains me and gets me through situations where fear may overtake a person. However, there is one thing that I do fear and that is anything happening to my family.
D: Let’s just get a little bit selfish for a moment and isolate Zo from the intricate web of people that you’ve spun around you. You are so busy making dreams come true for the children of South Florida, but what about your dreams?
A: My dream would be that the children of South Florida, as well as throughout the country, would have enough resources available to help them excel in life. It is important that we create environments like youth enrichment centers that can serve as “safe havens” for those who need a more stable environment in their lives. I also feel that we have to use these centers to create programs that will supplement the education that the children are receiving in public school. We are looking to build more youth centers through our efforts at Alonzo Mourning Charities in addition to growing our Honey Shine Mentoring Program. We need help from others in order to accomplish these goals. Visit www.amcharities.org for how you can support us in our efforts.
D: Looking back over the past twenty years, what are some of the things you wish you had known then that you know now?
A: The business side of me says, I wish I would have known that the property values were going to increase to the magnitude it has. I would have invested more into real estate. I also wish I had educated myself on alternative ways of healing the body when I was younger. Had I known more about meditation disciplines such as yoga and had more knowledge of herbal supplements and nutrition it would have helped me heal from injuries quicker, to help extend my basketball career.
D: Is there anything about Zo or Zo’s world that you would have liked to change?
A: Looking back, I would have changed the relationship I had with my biological
parents. When I was younger, we had a strained relationship, things are much better now but back then I wish I had taken a different approach to our relationship.
D: What is the legacy that you plan on leaving your children? What is your personal mantra that you live your life by?
A: I would like to leave my children with the knowledge that – success is not determined by the things that you have but by using the things that you have to make others successful. That is my personal mantra. We should all want to leave this world a better place than how we came into it.
D: For those of our readers who do not know, your cousin, Jason, is the “unsung hero” who donated his kidney to you. Please tell us about this remarkable man and what he means to you.
A: Jason is my grandmother’s – brother’s son and he is God sent. I had not seen Jason for over 20 years. He is a 35-year-old ex-marine that cares about the well-being of others. He came to me after finding out about my illness and offered me his kidney. His generosity truly shows dedication and love for family.
D:Giving your heart and soul and time to others is fairly easy, as you know, but giving a “part” of yourself to somebody else is quite a different story. What advice can you and your cousin give to our readers who may be considering organ donations?
A: I am a living testament that organ donation saves lives. My cousin is living a very healthy life with one kidney. Moreover, because of his generosity I too am living a healthy life with one kidney. Life is precious; if you have the ability to give life, just as our Lord and Savior has done for us, why pass up the opportunity. I encourage everyone to go to the DMV fill out your organ donation cards and if somebody needs a kidney, consider being their “saving grace”. Also for more information visit zosfundforlife.org. -DUO