Community Voices

Zo’s Hoop-Law Madness 3-on-3 basketball tournament to benefit Overtown Youth Center

The 2016 winners of Zo’s Hoop-Law Madness 3-on-3 Charitable Basketball Tournament celebrate raising funds for the Overtown Youth Center.
The 2016 winners of Zo’s Hoop-Law Madness 3-on-3 Charitable Basketball Tournament celebrate raising funds for the Overtown Youth Center. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Alonzo Mourning wants South Florida’s lawyers to compete on a different type of court when he hosts the third annual Zo’s Hoop-Law Madness 3-on-3 Charitable Basketball Tournament.

Proceeds from the March 11 event will benefit the Overtown Youth Center, a nonprofit that “seeks to inspire and empower the lives of at-risk youth and families by connecting them to positive role models, enhancing their educational experience and exposing them to life-changing opportunities.”

The NBA Hall-of-Famer’s good-cause tournament will consist of 20 teams, each made up of attorneys and legal staff. Firms can register multiple teams to vie for the title and “earn bragging rights as the reigning Zo’s Hoop-Law Champions.”

“Bringing the South Florida legal community together under one roof will show our young men and women from Overtown that legal professionals believe in them,” Mourning said in a release. “So many times we find our youth on the other side of the law; however, this is an exciting opportunity for lawyers to get engaged in supporting the life-changing work that happens at the Overtown Youth Center.”

Registration begins 7 a.m. March 11 and the first-round of games starts at 9 a.m. in OYC’s gymnasium, 450 NW 14th St. in Miami. A charitable donation of $1,250 is requested from each law firm that participates.

“We can count on the legal community to assist us in providing our kids the opportunity to have a bright future,” said Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin attorney Stephen A. Marino Jr., chairman of the board of the Overtown Youth Center, in a release. “South Florida law firms have shown time and time again their spirit of generosity when it comes to inspiring, empowering and enriching the lives of those in need in our community.”

Some of the firms participating this year include: the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office; Stroock, Bilzin Sumberg; Shutts & Bowen LLP; Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin; Shook Hardy Bacon; Pathman Lewis; Akerman; Eaton & Wolk PL; Harke Clasby/ Vasallo Law; and Rasco Klock.

The youth center focuses on providing comprehensive development services to students in elementary through post-secondary schools. In addition to academics, every student can join the enrichment classes of culinary, dance, music, STEM, art and more.

Since it started in 2003, all of the Overtown Youth Center seniors have graduated from high school and pursued college, vocational programs or employment.

Watch the video and get more on sponsorships, registration and the tournament’s rules and regulations at, or call 305-349-1204 ext. 228.

The Overtown Youth Center was co-founded by Mourning and real-estate developer Martin Z. Marguiles. Year round activities also include a parent enrichment program and post-high school support to over 400 youth and families in the Overtown neighborhood and surrounding areas.

Free St. Pat’s Day festival

Because everyone is a little bit Irish around St. Patrick’s Day, go out to celebrate The Greening of the Gables, noon to 6 p.m. March 11, Fred B. Hartnett Ponce Circle Park, 2800 Ponce de Leon Blvd., five blocks south of Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile.

Everyone is invited to join in the traditional Celtic celebration at the 38th annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival produced by the St. Patrick’s Day Committee of the Emerald Society.

The family-friendly, free entry event will have entertainment by Avalon featuring Irish singer and harpist, Tricianne Garrihy; The Paddy Kelleghan Band; The Charter Flight Band; the St. Andrew Pipe and Drum Band; Pianist Peter Fuchs; and Irish dancers from the Breffni Academy of Dance led by Michael O’Hara. Participants of The Miss Colleen Pageant will attend.

There will be Irish food and drink including traditional corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, soda bread, whiskey cake, coffee, whiskey and stout. Children’s activities will include a giant slide, a rock-climbing wall, a merry-go-round and a bounce house. Irish crafts will be for sale.

Call 305-949-8400 or email

Tea in the garden

The 15th annual International Orchid Festival is coming up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., March 10-12, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. You can see more than 10,000 orchid plants during the three-day festival.

Be sure to stop by for refreshments at the outdoor Tea Garden in the Baobab Courtyard beside the historic Gate House. In the shade of a tent you will find beautifully set tables with volunteers waiting to serve you tea complete with scones, savories, and sweets. The teas are blended especially for Fairchild and there will be live music.

The cost is $20 per adult, $15 per child under 12 after the cost of admission to Fairchild. Tea will be served all three days 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more visit

Suicide help hotline

For 47 years, Switchboard Miami has provided information, referral and crisis counseling support 24/7 to individuals in need. The group has saved thousands of lives through suicide prevention efforts and “it is recognized to be a first point of assistance and a last resource for those in need.”

Now, the group has entered into an agreement to continue its work with Jewish Community Services. All numbers will remain the same, including the 211 hotline.

“We are grateful that these vital community programs will continue under the auspices of Jewish Community Services, maintaining the legacy of Switchboard of Miami,” said Switchboard Board Chair Christopher Collings on the website.

Switchboard provides “free and confidential telephone counseling, crisis intervention, suicide prevention and information and referral services to every caller, chatter or texter 24/7.” The group is considered one of the largest of its kind in the country and an estimated 140,000 individuals get immediate tri-lingual assistance each year. Through the new plan this critical service will remain uninterrupted.

If you need help or if you know anyone who is in crisis call: 211; 305-358-HELP (4357) in Miami; National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255 (TALK) and 800-784-2433 (SUICIDE); LGBTQ HELPline 305-646-3600; Seniors HELPline 305-646-3606; Veterans Crisis Line 800-273-8255 Press 1; and HELPline Keys 305-350-5568.

You can find additional resources at and the new site is

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at