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schedule to answer some questions with Internation- al Life. Read on to find out more about his charitable work, the challenges he’s faced in life, and what he plans to do next...

IL: You faced a lot of challenges as a child and a young man. Tell us a lit- tle about your life grow- ing up.

AM: like a lot of kids to- day, i faced many challenges and was forced to overcome them as best as i knew how. i elected myself into a group home and shortly thereafter i requested to be placed into state foster care because the group home setting was not for me. i was lucky and ended up with a wonderful woman, my foster mom Fan- nie Threet, who encouraged me and provided a great and positive environment for me to grow up. i was able to excel in athletics, specifi- cally basketball, and earned a full scholarship to George- town University. initially i felt somewhat out of place just because the majority of students there came from upper-class families and had received a strong education, but my coach really helped me to focus and work extra hard both in basketball and in my studies.

IL: What is the most memorable event from your childhood?

AM: My most transfor- mative childhood event was putting myself into foster care at the age of ten. i re- alized i needed to change things and i took my life into my own hands.

IL: What role did wom- en play in your life?

AM: My foster mom,

Alonzo leads the Summer Grove outh Basketball Clinic

Fannie Threet, played a very important role in my child- hood. She was a local hero where i grew up in chesa- peake, Virginia. She helped raise forty-nine kids. i knew that staying with Ms. Threet was the best thing for me. Ms. Threet continues to in-

spire me as i now contin- ue to help the youth in my community.

IL: How did you start playing basketball?

AM: When i was living in foster care my dad enrolled me in a summer basketball camp at Old Dominion

University in Norfolk, Va. i was twelve years old and knew right away that i loved basketball. The coach at the time helped me begin to set my goals on playing college ball and providing me with all the tools and resources i needed to play successful- ly. By the time i was in the eighth grade, i was playing on the high school junior varsity.

IL: So many profession- al athletes seem to lose themselves when they go into retirement. After fo- cusing for so long on the sport, there's a sense of “Now what?” But you have thrown yourself into charity work, starting long before retirement. What was your inspiration for founding Alonzo Mourn- ing Charities in 1997?

AM: i saw a lot of mis- treated and misunderstood children when i was in a group home. important to starting alonzo Mourning charities was being able to help kids that wouldn’t oth- erwise get the opportuni- ty to grow and fulfill their potential.

International Life Magazine

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