Legal professionals from all across South Florida faced off at the 3rd annual Zo’s Hoop-Law Madness Tournament, held Saturday, March 11.


Staff Report

MIAMI – Hundreds of legal professionals returned for the third year in a row to face off on a different type of court at the Overtown Youth Center’s 3rd Annual Zo’s HoopLaw Madness (ZHLM) Charity Basketball tournament.

Over 200 people attended ZHLM on Saturday, March 11. Jason Gilliam Alexander of Most Valuable Protege’s (MVP) served as the day’s host.

Eighteen teams competed in the tournament, which began in 2015 as a way to bridge the gap between urban youth and the legal community as well as raise funding for OYC’s programs and services.

This year marked a ‘three-peat’ for the reigning champions, a team composed of lawyers from the firms Eaton & Wolk, Vasallo Law, Hark Clasby & Bushman and Rasco Klock. Second place was DLA Piper and third place went to Pathman Lewis.

Participants enjoyed the players lounge complete with complimentary massages, open bar and three big screen TV’s showing March Madness games.

Midway through the day, attorneys competed against OYC’s high school boys who play basketball for Booker T. Washington.

Since the tournament’s inception, legal professionals have returned beyond the day of play to get involved with the work OYC is doing as donors, volunteers, tutors, etc.

OYC’s executive director Tina Brown said she was pleased with the success of the third year.

“I felt this year’s Hoop-Law was another great event. More importantly it continues to be a great way to connect the legal community to the work that we do,” Brown said.

Nike was the title sponsor for the event, donating $25,000, as well as providing volunteers to assist throughout the day. OYC staff said the center raised a total of $50,000 for OYC’s programming.

“Investing in the event provides OYC the opportunity to serve as a vehicle for ensuring that young people in the urban core are able to maximize their potential,” Brown continued.

She encouraged more firms to participate and serve as sponsors in future tournaments.

“Though ZHLM is a fun and competitive platform for hundreds of attorneys; the event’s proceeds continually give our students a competitive edge in life long after the game is over,” Brown said.


The do-good ‘Sharks’ pick a winner: pop-up barbershops


The “Sharks” had a tough choice among the four social ventures. Would they choose Master Honey that empowers low-income women to start their own micro-beekeeping businesses? Or perhaps prefer Miami is Kind’s concept to create jobs for young people on the autism spectrum baking cookies for schools? Would they pick Mind&Melody, which crafts music engagement experiences for Alzheimer’s patients? Or do they like Buzzbox’s pop-up barbershops that dispense life advice with the haircut? All were competing for a $10,000 prize.

Warren Henry Auto Group presents check for $25,000 to Overtown Youth Center

Warren Henry Auto Group presents check for $25,000 to Overtown Youth Center

Warren Henry Auto Group presented a check for $25,000 to the Overtown Youth Center on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Basketball legend Alonzo Mourning accepted the donation on behalf of his youth empowerment organization. Since partnering with the former Miami Heat star and his charities, Warren Henry Auto Group has contributed a total of $250,000 to the Mourning Foundation. Pictured (l-r) are Warren Zinn; Alonzo Mourning; Larry Zinn, general manager of Warren Henry Auto Group, and Erik Day, CFO/partner of Warren Henry Auto Group.

Alonzo Mourning hosts charity basketball tournament in Overtown


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.