Alonzo Mourning Tees Off with President Obama
Former Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning played a round of golf with President Barack Obama at Grande Oaks Golf Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday. Grande Oaks is where the 1980 Chevy Chase classic “Caddyshack” was filmed, and Mourning rounded out a foursome that included Cyrus Walker, the cousin of senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett, and former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
Mourning described the event as being “very surreal and enlightening,” adding that he’d “spent six hours in a golf cart with the most powerful man in America talking everything from basketball to life after his term – It was a dream come true.”
Mourning, a longtime Democratic fundraiser, said the two initially planned to play this summer in Martha’s Vineyard. “But then it got late and I had to get my kids into school,” Mourning said. “So he (Obama) reached out to and asked me to choose where to play.”
Mourning said he’d initially suggested his home course, at Turnberry Isle in Aventura, Florida, but The Secret Service asked for another venue.”They said that wouldn’t work, because there were too many high-rises,” Mourning said. The round ended up at the old Caddyshack course.
Mourning, who is presently a Heat executive, had previously played basketball with Obama, but this was the first time they golfed. “Considering everything on his plate, he’s a decent golfer,” Mourning said with a grin. Obama was also impressed with Mourning’s game – “When we left, he handed me the scorecard,” Mourning said. “It read, ‘Thanks for carrying us today.’ ”
In 2007, Mourning along with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Jeff Gordon, Lance Armstrong, Tony Hawk, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, and Cal Ripken, Jr. founded Athletes for Hope, a collective which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes to inspire millions of non-athletes to embrace volunteerism.
Mourning commented on the 18 holes played with the president, “To know I have a friendship with the most powerful man in the world is something I will never take for granted.”
Saturday’s event was the 150th round for Obama in less than five full years in the White House.
Image via YouTube.