NBA star Alonzo Mourning can now add author to his resume following Tuesday’s release of his book “Resilience,” a 231-page account of his life story, including his battle with the life-threatening kidney disease, focal segmental glomerular sclerosis.
The athlete said he was encouraged to share his life story after following the resilience of cyclist Lance Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer that had metastasized to his brain and lungs.
“Lance was one of the people who inspired me to write this book,” Mourning said in an interview with The Associated Press. “He played a big role in my overall approach to coming back and playing the game, reading both of his books, learning more about his life, his experiences and how he dealt with adversity. He motivated millions and millions of people in their lives, and I felt my story could have that same impact.”
“Resilience” chronicles Mourning’s years playing college basketball at Georgetown and his NBA stops in Charlotte, New Jersey and Miami, where he spent the bulk of his career and the team he’d like to return to at some point this season.
He’s still waiting to determine if he can recover from major injuries to his knee and leg suffered in a fall at Atlanta on Dec. 19, 2007 — the fourth anniversary of the kidney transplant that saved his life.
The book also touches on several other facets of his life, many of which he hasn’t discussed at much length publicly before. Among the highlights:
• How Bill Cosby helped shape his life by paying for an education at Howard for the woman who would eventually become his wife, Tracy Wilson Mourning.
• The tribulations of the recruiting trail as a coveted high school player, when Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia and Georgia Tech all wanted him to sign and wooed him with clothes, shoes, fancy dinners, even a trip to a strip club. “Everyone understood I could have gotten money at any of these places. The message was sent,” Mourning wrote.
• How he was nearly too muscular to get a kidney transplant, because surgeons were having trouble finding a place in his body to put the new organ without cutting copious amounts of muscle. If they’d gone about the procedure that way, Mourning’s career would have ended in the operating room.