Over 150 eager student athletes had an opportunity to learn basketball fundamentals from one Miami Heat icon and the team’s elite coaching staff.
Alonzo Mourning hosted the one day clinic, a part of the Heat’s community outreach effort in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, as the team continues it’s training camp at the Atlantis Resort.
Basketball players from various schools throughout New Providence and the Family Islands participated in the event to learn from Mourning and various members of the Heat’s coaching staff.
Mourning, the seven time NBA All-Star and two time NBA Defensive Player of the Year discussed his path toward NBA stardom.
His message included a focus on education, dedication to their chosen craft – whether sports or in the classroom, proper nutrition and discipline in all aspects of life.
Following his address to the group, they took to the floor in various stations facilitated by Heat staffers.
“I saw some very eager athletic kids. They were very attentive and ready to learn and that’s where it starts. It starts with your attention to detail and understanding that you have to learn from those that were there before you in order to get better,” Mourning said, “The group worked extremely hard. All the kids had a good time and we tried to do the best we could to try to teach them fundamentals that they can keep with them for the rest of their lives.”
Mourning, well known for his charitable work, established Alonzo Mourning Charities to aid at-risk children and enhance their lives and their families.
A kidney transplant recipient, he was a member of the Heat from 1995-2002 and again from 2005-2008 when he was a member of the 2006 Championship team.
He also launched the Zo’s Fund for Life, to raise funds for research and education to fight focal glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a nephritic syndrome in children and adolescents as well as a cause of kidney failure in adults; a condition he was also diagnosed with.
He considered the camp and the clinic evidence of the continued partnership between his organisation and the Bahamas.
“When you think of the Caribbean, the first place that we think of as the Miami Heat organisation, we think of the Bahamas. I feel like you have established yourselves as the Queen of the Caribbean. So many years have passed and so many people in the Heat organisation have visited here and brought their families. We think of our boss Mickey Arison, he has his ships docked here as well. The Bahams is an extension of our home in Miami,” he said, “Coming here and conducting our training camp gives us an opportunity to get away but still feel at home. This clinic was a way for us to show our appreciation to the fans. You all cheer for us from afar for some years now, we are very grateful and thankful for the fans here and this is a way of showing our appreciation.”
One of the camp instructors was another former Heat player and now member of the coaching staff, Anthony Carter.
Carter, a 13-year NBA veteran who spent five seasons with the Heat
“I just wanted to focus on some ball handling drills. We started with some of the basic stuff, there were so many kids that you can’t just stick with the basic stuff so we did a little work with both hands, I tried to show them some advanced things and hopefully they can go home, go to their camps and their schools and maybe make it apart of their workouts,” he said, “A lot of them knew what I was showing them already. Some of them were handling the ball really well although they are just getting started but the main thing is that all of them worked hard. Everyone was having fun, even when they didn’t get it they weren’t pouting or getting on themselves for messing up because a lot of the stuff that I was doing is going to help them down the line. I felt like it was important just to try to teach them some of the advanced stuff because it may be something they had never seen.”
Carter said the experience this week at training camp will lead to a return visit to the Bahamas.
“Training camp has been great. All the staff at the hotel at the Cove have been great,” he said, “The hospitality has been top notch and I would love to come back here again.”
The Heat’s week in the Bahamas began on Monday when they received a warm welcome at Odyssey Aviation Bahamas
The team arrived in New Providence for the start of their week long training camp,
The team previously held a training camp at the Atlantis ahead of its 2013/2014 season as part of its ongoing multi-year partnership with the Ministry of Tourism.