Alonzo Mourning has been called a prodigy and an enigma. Through hard work and dedication, he turned from a clumsy, awkward preteen into a star professional basketball player. Mourning was one of the most sought after high school players in his graduating class. In the 1992 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft, he was second only to Shaquille O’Neal. He was a part of Dream Team II, the elite basketball team that won the gold in the World Championships in 1994. Mourning played exciting games for the Miami Heat and later for the New Jersey Nets. But within a few years, Mourning became less an inspiration for his basketball skills and more for his determination to play despite a debilitating chronic kidney disease he developed. By 2003, when Mourning’s health forced him to retire, he had become a leading spokesperson for kidney health.
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