Mourning will attempt comeback

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Seven-time All-Star Alonzo Mourning will attempt a comeback with the New Jersey Nets this season, less than a year after a kidney transplant.

"I am feeling great and am excited about attending training camp and possibly resuming my career," the 34-year-old Mourning said in a statement released by the Nets on Wednesday.

"We look forward to Alonzo joining the Nets in training camp," Nets president Rod Thorn said. "Hopefully, he will be able to resume his career and play at the high level he has in the past."

The center, who had signed with the Nets before last season, played only 12 games before retiring Nov. 24 because of complications from a kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. He was diagnosed before the 2000-01 season, when he was with the Miami Heat.

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS, affects the kidney filters that remove toxins from the blood. In the weeks befgre Mourning's retirement, tests showed that his kidney function had deteriorated and that the chemical imbalances in his blood made it dangerous for him to play.


Mourning received a kidney from a cousin on Dec. 19 in a New York hospital. He began taking medicine to avoid organ rejection.

At a Nets game in March, Mourning said that although he missed the camaraderie of being a pro athlete, returning to the NBA had never crossed his mind. "The further I get away from the surgery without having any complications, the better off I am," Mourning said.

The Nets said Mourning would not speak with reporters until training camp, which begins Oct. 5.

Mourning averaged 20.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.98 blocks in 634 NBA games over 12 years, with Charlotte, Miami and New Jersey.

Charlotte took him as the second overall pick in the 1992 draft out of Georgetown.

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