Thursday , Jul , 19 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Zo Summer Groove 2007 All-Star Game

By Jessy S

Summer in Miami would not be the same without the annual Zo’s Summer Groove. The five days event organized by Alounzo Mourning is part of his non-profit fundraising organization AMC (Alonzo Mourning Charities).
Zo’s Summer Groove kicked off on July 11 and offered a full schedule ranging from a celebrity golf tournament, basketball clinics, a block party, comedy shows, youth summits to benefit dinners.

Click here to view the video of the All-Star Basketball game (especially if you like Gabrielle Union!)

The finale took place at the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami with the All-Star Basketball game. Despite the fact that the game looked more like a basketball showcase than a competition, the crowd enjoyed it and the children had the opportunity to meet and play along some of their favorite NBA players.

Players such as Delonte West, Damon Jones, Dorell Wright, Quentin Richardson, Dahntay Jones, Carlos Boozer, Damon Stoudamire, Sam Cassell joined Mourning on the court in support of his cause.

Mourning focused his charity effort on building youth centers across the Miami Dade and Broward County to offer support and various services to youth at risks. The first center was opened in 2003 in the city of Overtown in South Florida.

The kids also had the opportunity to meet celebrities and community leaders during the Youth Summit to have an open discussion on racial identity and the power of self realization.

“The reason why the Youth Summit has been a great success is because Zo brings people from different areas,” said NBA player Udonis Haslem during a press conference. “Not everybody wants to be an athlete. Some wants to be doctors, lawyers. Anything is better than being in jail.” Zo’s Summer Groove has been going strong for 11 years and Mourning sees its future as a growing process. He intends to opens more youth centers with libraries, computer labs, gymnasium, and classrooms around Miami in areas such as Little Haiti, Opa Locka and Little Havana.

“We want to put those facilities there to promote the education but it is going to be a long process,” Mourning said. “I am looking at 10, 15 years down the road. I want to see these facilities evolve but it is going to take a long time and a lot of one-on-one conversation with individuals to raise the money to build the facilities.”