Alonzo Mourning missed an entire season of basketball last year sidelined with a severe kidney illness. Well, Zo has an extremely high amount of pent-up energy, and he's ready to get back out onto the hardwood for the seventh-annual "Zo's Summer Groove Charity Basketball Game" to benefit the Children's Home Society of Florida.
Unlike most other celebrity basketball games in the name of charity, this contest will actually have some compelling athletic action between the lines, as all the participants are genuine NBA players with truly serious hoops skills. The stars scheduled to play with Zo include Ray Allen, Patrick Ewing, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, and Eddie Jones.
Mourning finds himself in the middle of the NBA free-agent market this summer, with teams like the Dallas Mavericks competing against the Heat to secure Zo's services in the paint. And it's this very caveat that makes the 2003 Summer Groove a much more important game than in years past, as it will be the first significant basketball action Zo will play versus top-notch talent in quite a long time. So what does this mean? Well, all those NBA teams interested in signing the big fella will be watching closely and taking notes, trying to ascertain how far his game might have slipped since his illness was diagnosed. Look for a little more intensity than in the usual run-and-gun charity game.
The ZSG7 basketball game tips off at 6 p.m. at the AmericanAirlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets range from $5 to $100. Call 305-358-5885. -- Russ Evans
Tradewinds Park (3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek) plays host to the South Florida Cricket Association at 8 a.m. Cricket, of course, is the sport no American understands, so here's a quick primer -- we'll call it Cricket 111 instead of Cricket 101. Anyone who tries to learn cricket from this story will probably wind up with a score of 111 (considered extremely unlucky). In any case, here's the premise -- one guy bowls a ball to another, who tries to hit it with his cricket bat and in turn cause the ball to break the wicket. At least one bail, two of which sit across the top of the three stumps at each end of the pitch, has to be knocked off for the wicket to be broken. Clear? Call 954-968-3990. -- Dan Sweeney
The Battle of Loxahatchee
One does not often think of Florida when reviewing wars that have been fought on American soil. It wasn't a state during the Revolution or the War of 1812, and in the Civil War, Sherman's eradication of Georgia pretty much ended Florida as a viable threat. But just a few years before that war, on January 24, 1838, the Battle of Loxahatchee was a major turning point of the Second Seminole War. Before that, the Seminoles had been scoring victory after victory. Afterward, they went on a disastrous losing streak. History buffs have the opportunity to tour the battle site with local historian Richard Procyk at 9:30 a.m. at Riverbend Park (Indiantown Road, a mile west of I-95, Jupiter). The tour lasts about an hour and includes a synopsis of the battlefield as well as a discussion of 5,000 years of history at the site. Admission is free. Call 561-747-6639. -- Dan Sweeney
Need for Speed
Kickin' it at Calder with the Summit of Speed
The Calder Summit of Speed at Calder Race Course (21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami) might be the single biggest racing day of the summer in South Florida. With more than $1.7 million of purses up for grabs during the afternoon's contests, the stakes are high and the competition fast.
Among the races scheduled are the $500,000 Grade II Princess Rooney Handicap and the $500,000 Grade III Smile Sprint Handicap. In past years, the summit has proven to be a preamble for many horses on their way to great things. One need look no further back than last year's Smile Sprint champ Orientate, a D. Wayne Lucas product, for proof. Orientate went on from his Summit triumph to win the Breeder's Cup and take Eclipse Champion honors.
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Any self-respecting horseman will not miss this vaunted collection of races. Call 305-625-1311. -- Russ Evans
Tired of monster truck rallies every Sunday, Sunday, Sunday? If you're looking to quench your need for speed (and we're talking the legal kind here), then head on over to Moroso Motorsports Park (17047 Beeline Hwy., Palm Beach Gardens) for the SCCA Regional Road Races. Saturday and Sunday, 23 classes of exotic, late-model, and historic sports cars rev it up on a 2.25-mile, ten-turn course. More than 3,500 attendees are expected for this exhaust-filled weekend. So grease up your hair, grab your Miller High Life, and step on it. Tickets cost $15 to $20 for spectators. Starts at 10 a.m. Call 561-622-1400, or visit www.morosomotorsportspark.com. -- Audra Schroeder