MIAMI (WSVN) — South Florida lawyers teamed up to take their skills from the courtroom to the basketball court.
Former Heat star Alonzo Mourning’s second annual Zo’s Hoop-Law Madness event took place at Overtown’s Youth Center. The charity basketball tournament consisted of 32 teams made up of attorneys and staff. "The Overtown Youth Center is an amazing facility, and what Zo has done here is incredible," said attorney Paul Shelowitz.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Overtown Youth Center. "It’s about the children," Mourning said. "That’s what it’s about, but you know, being able to have our legal community come out and show their support speaks volumes."
Mourning said the basketball court is an ideal setting for some of these players. "When you think about attorneys, they’re competitive by nature, so coming up with the idea, transitioning that ‘competitiveness’ to the basketball court, it can make for some entertainment and comedy," he said.
The center gives students the tools they need to succeed. There are after school programs along computer labs, a music studio and sports options. All are meant to keep kids off the street. "This kind of environment gives a kid you know, an even starting chance," said Overtown Youth Center chairman Stephen Marino. "They get to be on the same playing field as folks who have a good home community, a hot meal at night, a computer at home."
Lavontay Thompson, who attends the youth center, expressed his gratitude toward the event’s participants. "It made me feel very special because they put their time into us; they’re investing in us," he said. "Without them, there won’t be no OYC."
7Sports anchor Donovan Campbell was there to lend a hand as well. "I always tell you guys, I grew up here in South Florida so anytime I can give back to the community — it means a whole lot to me," he said.
The event raised about $50,000 in 2015, and organizers said they are hoping to double that amount this year.