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Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Updated: June 23, 7:58 PM ET
The Mourning After

By Pat Smith, Jr.
Special to

Signature Game
May 5, 1993 - The Charlotte Hornets, who were making their first-ever appearance in the playoffs, eliminated the 16-time NBA champion Boston Celtics when Alonzo Mourning stepped up with the game on the line.

With three seconds remaining and the Hornets trailing by a point, Mourning, who played most of the season in fellow rookie Shaquille O'Neal's shadow, received the inbound pass near the top of the key. He dribbled right and  with the Celtics mixed up defensively  drained an uncontested 20-footer with .4 seconds remaining that gave the Hornets a 104-103 victory in Charlotte. "It took some big guts to make that shot, some very big guts," said Celtics centers Robert Parish.

Mourning was more modest. "To tell you the truth, it was a lucky shot," he said.

Mourning finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots as the Hornets won the first-round Eastern Conference series, 3-1.

Odds 'n' Ends

  • At 11, when Mourning was a ward of the state of Virginia, he lived in a group home with other children, some of whom were emotionally disturbed.

  • He was six feet by the seventh grade.

  • While playing on a traveling AAU team, Mourning blocked 27 shots against a squad from New York.

  • As a Georgetown freshman, Mourning drew negative attention for his friendship with Hoyas fanatic Rayful Edmond III, whose fulltime job was running what authorities said was Washington, D.C.'s largest cocaine ring.

  • In November 1989, Mourning testified at Edmond's trial, but was not implicated in any illegal activities. Edmond was found guilty of conspiracy and was sentenced to life in prison.

  • At Georgetown, the scowling Mourning came to symbolize the condition known as Hoya Paranoia.

  • He is Georgetown's all-time leading shot blocker with 347.

  • Mourning graduated with a degree in sociology.

  • Playing at his best during the Hornets first-ever playoff run, he was named Rookie of the Month for both March and April 1993.

  • During offseasons in the 1990s, Mourning regularly worked with two other former Georgetown centers, Patrick Ewing and Dikembe Mutombo.

  • With Charlotte, the serious Mourning and his playful teammate Larry Johnson did not get along.

  • On November 3, 1995, after turning down the Hornets' $78-million, seven-year contract offer, Mourning was traded with Pete Myers and LeRon Ellis to Miami for Glen Rice, Matt Geiger, Khalid Reeves and a first-round draft pick.

  • Mourning's career high cane in his first season with the Heat when he scored 50 points against Washington on March 29, 1996.

  • His career high in rebounds is 22, which he has accomplished three times.

  • When Mourning averaged 23.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.3 blocked shots in December 1999 he was named NBA player of the month.

  • While selected to seven All-Star Games, Mourning missed three because of injury.

  • In his four appearances, one as a starter, he has averaged 10 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 blocks while shooting 54.5 percent.

  • To combat his kidney condition, Mourning consumed a daily cocktail  a Z8 made up of carrots, celery, beets, parsley and apple.

  • In recognition of his battle for his health, Mourning was named spokesman for the National Kidney Foundation in 2001.

  • Mourning was elected representative of the NBA Players Association in 2002.

  • In May 2002 he was given the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for community service.

  • Before accepting the Nets' offer in 2003, Heat president and coach Pat Riley offered Mourning a proposal that would have kept Mourning in the organization for the rest of his life.

  • In his 30 games with the Nets in 2003 and 2004, Mourning averaged 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 22 minutes.

  • On Dec. 17, 2004, he was traded to Toronto with Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round draft choices for Vince Carter.

  • When Miami won its first NBA title in 2006, Mourning had eight points, six rebounds and five blocks in 14 minutes in the clincher, a 95-92 Game 6 victory over the Mavericks.

  • Mourning has built homes for his mother, father and his foster mother, Fanny Threet. He also has paid for six of his cousin's college education.

  • Mourning married Tracey Wilson, a former Howard University law student, in 1997. They have two children, Alonzo "Trey" and Myka.