Sulkin, Soccer & Cyrus: Let the Games Begin

British actor Gregg Sulkin, 17, is not only the teen-dream boyfriend of superstar Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana; he is also a terrific soccer player. He is in Israel competing in the 2009 Maccabiah Games as a member of the British soccer team.

This is Gregg Sulkin’s second trip to Israel. His first trip to the country was for his bar mitzvah, which was held at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. He told the Jerusalem Post, “I love how united Israel is as a country, as a family,” joking that “the weather here is so much better than in London.”

After the games, Mr. Sulkin will go to Los Angeles to pursue acting, his other passion. The young man has appeared on television and in the film Sixty Six, with Helena Bonham Carter. An autobiographical film, it is based on the real-life bar mitzvah of the film’s director Paul Weiland. It is about a boy (played by Gregg Sulkin), about to have his bar mitzvah in London in 1966, against the backdrop of the World Cup finals. That was the year that England hosted the games, achieving their first and only win.

See Also:
Miley Cyrus’s boyfriend: Maccabiah, then Hollywood [Jerusalem Post; July 20, 2009]
How do you say Hannah Montana in Hebrew? [21c Israelity Blog; July 21, 2009]

Alonzo Mourning Honored for Charitable Giving

On Friday night, May 14, 2009, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose will honor basketball great Alonzo Mourning with its 10th annual Legacy for Children Award. The man who was the heart and soul of the Miami Heat has been a champion for children for more than a decade.

In 1997, Alonzo Mourning Charities hosted the first ZO’S SUMMER GROOVE, raising $200,000 for local charities in South Florida. It has grown into an annual community event that focuses on giving promising at-risk youth the opportunity to excel.

The seven-time NBA All-Star has overcome personal challenges. In 2000, after winning an Olympic gold medal with Team USA, Mr. Mourning was diagnosed with a rare degenerative kidney disease. After undergoing a kidney transplant, Mr. Mourning made a dramatic professional comeback, going on to help the Miami Heat win the national championship in 2006.

The 6’10” center has a degree in sociology from Georgetown University. His wife and partner, Tracy Wilson Mourning, attended Howard University thanks to the generosity of actor, author and comedian Bill Cosby.

In a 2007 interview, Mr. Mourning said, “I don’t want to be remembered just as someone who ran up and down the court and played basketball. There are many more parts to my life than that.”

“We both realize that we’re all connected in so many different ways,” said Tracy Mourning. “You help children because there’s a need and a purpose behind it.”

See Also:
San Jose museum honors former NBA star Alonzo Mourning for his charity [San Jose Mercury News; May 10, 2009]
Alonzo Mourning and Tracy Wilson-Mourning: Champions for Children [The Children’s Trust]