MIAMI - It's official. Alonzo Mourning will soon be a Hall of Fame basketball player.
The former Miami Heat star will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., this summer. The ceremony will take place Aug. 7-9.
The seven-time NBA all-star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year is the all-time leader in blocked shots for Miami with 1,625.
In his 16 NBA seasons, Mourning accounted for 2,356 blocks.
The 6-foot-10-inch center had two stints with the Heat, first from 1995 to 2002 and again from 2005 to 2008.
Mourning initially came to Miami in 1995 as part of a trade with the Charlotte Hornets, who selected him second overall out of Georgetown in the 1992 NBA Draft.
After less than two seasons with the New Jersey Nets, Mourning re-signed with the Heat in 2005 as a backup to Shaquille O'Neal. Mourning was a member of the Heat's first world championship team in 2006.
He retired with the team in 2009 and his No. 33 jersey was retired that same year, joining Tim Hardaway as the only other Heat player to have his jersey retired.
Mourning becomes the first Heat player to earn Hall of Fame recognition.
"You work your whole life for a game you're very passionate about and that you love," Mourning said on a conference call Monday afternoon. "You don't play the game because you have intentions to go into the Hall of Fame. You play the game because you just love it."
Mourning also talked about returning from a kidney transplant during his career.
"There was some doubt in me that I would be able to compete at a very high level again," he said. "The one thing I'm most proud of is that I broke through that particular obstacle in my life."
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