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Alonzo Mourning Returns To The Miami Heat

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Former Miami Heat Center Alonzo Mourning will bring his game back to the Miami Heat, but this time as a front office personnel. Mourning is in the process of cementing a deal with the Heat that will allow him to work in a player development role, serving as a mentor to the young players on and off the court.

This announcement came during a Miami Heat team golf charity event here in Miami. Heat president Pat Riley confirmed through a team spokesman that plans are in the works to give Mourning an official front-office capacity.

”We are in discussions with Mourning, and in the stage of forming a long-term relationship,” Riley said Friday. Mourning’s duties have yet to be defined, but it is he likely that he would work with young players, draft picks and free agents to help them adjust to the franchise and living in South Florida.

Mourning also would serve as a liaison to help assist Heat players in community activities and charities. Mourning is expected to earn a salary, and is likely to travel with the team and assist the coaching staff.

Mourning, 39, officially retired in January after playing 15 seasons. He was a seven-time All-Star and was twice named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Mourning helped the Heat win an NBA title in 2006. He sustained a career-ending knee injury in December 2007 against Atlanta.

Mourning retired as the Heat’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks, minutes and games played. In March, he became the first Heat player to have his jersey retired when his No. 33 was raised to the rafters. Mourning has been heavily involved in charitable and political activities throughout his basketball career.

Mourning has maintained an almost daily presence around the team since he retired. But his hiring comes a month after the Heat dismissed about 20 employees in business operations amid budget cuts. Mourning’s position is considered a separate basketball operations position.

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