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Miami Heat icon Alonzo Mourning reveals recovery from prostate cancer, urges vigilance

South Florida Sun Sentinel - 6/3/2024

MIAMIMiami Heat executive Alonzo Mourning, the team’s former All-Star center, has acknowledged he is recovering from prostate cancer.

Mourning told ESPN in a Monday story he had undergone March surgery to remove his prostate after a diagnosis of Stage 3 prostate cancer.

While those around the team had been aware of the diagnosis and treatment, Mourning, 54, went public, he told ESPN, because, “If I didn’t get routine checkups, I probably wouldn’t be here to talk about this. I want men to be proactive with their health.”

Mourning, who continued to be around the team, told ESPN the procedure has left him cancer free.

In 2000, shortly after winning gold with Team USA at the Sydney Olympics, Mourning was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease that would lead to him stepping away from the game for most of the ensuing season and eventually requiring a kidney transplant in 2003.

Mourning would return to rejoin the Heat and share in the franchise’s first NBA championship, in 2006 while playing as backup center to Shaquille O’Neal.

Mourning’s career ended due to knee injury sustained in December 2007 while playing for the Heat, formally retiring, at 38, in January 2009.

Mourning’s No. 33 was retired by the Heat on March 30, 2009. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Aug. 8, 2014.

Mourning has worked in the Heat front office since June 2009, currently serving as the team’s vice president of player programs, a fixture at the team’s practices and games, where he often is seated alongside Heat President Pat Riley.

A picture of fitness in his Heat role, Mourning said the prostate diagnosis came as a shock.

“I can’t tell you enough about how well my body felt. I was in top-notch shape – running sprints, strong,” he told ESPN. “The doctor told me that he couldn’t believe I had had a kidney transplant.

“There are 3.3 million men living in the U.S. with prostate cancer, and many don’t even know it. I was one of those guys.”

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