NEW YORK -- Former NBA All-Star center Alonzo Mourning
underwent kidney transplant surgery Friday and was in good
The surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia hospital
came less than a month after Mourning retired from the New Jersey
Nets because of a kidney disease.
The kidney donor, a family member, also was in good condition.
"Alonzo asks that all those who offered to donate a kidney to
him extend that generosity to others who are waiting for
transplants," his agent, Jeffrey Wechsler, said in a statement
released after the surgery was completed.
"He appreciates all the well wishes and encouragement he has received from fans all around the world, and asks that the public respect his privacy during the recovery process."
Mourning, 33, retired on Nov. 24 because of complications from
the disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. He was diagnosed
before the 2000-01 season, when he was with the Miami Heat.
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, known as FSGS, affects the
filters of the kidney that remove toxins from the blood.
In the weeks before his retirement, tests showed that Mourning's
kidney function had deteriorated and that the chemical imbalances
in his blood made it dangerous for him to play.
"When you think about guys you come in contact with during your
lifetime, this is someone I will never forget," Nets coach Byron
Scott said before New Jersey played the Washington Wizards on
Friday night. "He is a big-time inspiration to myself and probably
a lot of those guys in the locker room."
Mourning told Scott earlier this week he was anxious to have the
"He was psyched up about it," Scott said. "I'm just happy for
him because I know this was something he wanted. God willing,
hopefully, he'll be here for a long time."
In his 12-year NBA career, the former Georgetown star was a
seven-time All-Star and two-time defensive player of the year.
Scott feels Mourning may even consider a comeback once he recovers. Former NBA player Sean Elliott successfully returned to
the league in 2001 after a kidney transplant in 1999.
"He can't help but to, he is a warrior," Scott said. "This is
in his blood. This is what he does. He has been doing it for so
long that you just can't get rid of it. It's like a junkie, it just
doesn't go away that quick. It takes some time. I am sure he is
going to think about it again."