While some celebrities were born into wealth, others had normal lives before hitting it big. This often means that they also had a regular job. NBA great Alonzo Mourning was one of those regular people before he made it big in the NBA, and he did his share of odd jobs. Here’s a look at Alonzo Mourning’s career, some of the many odd jobs he had, and why working at a Pontiac dealership was his favorite.

A recap of Alonzo Mourning’s NBA career

Alonzo Mourning | Getty Images

For NBA fans growing up in the 90s and 2000s, Mourning was one of the big names competing against Michael Jordan or Shaquille O’Neal. And though Mourning never achieved as much as Jordan, he was a seven-time NBA All-Star and helped his team, the Miami Heat, win a championship in 2006.

Standing 6ft 10in, Mourning played center and was well known for his defensive plays. His 15-year NBA career spanned four teams, and although he started with the Charlotte Hornets, he spent the majority in Miami, except for one season when he played for the New Jersey Nets. Along with winning numerous awards and accolades, Mourning is probably best known for having had a kidney transplant, recovered from that transplant, and then won a championship.

Alonzo Mourning’s odd jobs and why his favorite was at a Pontiac dealership

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Prior to the start of his NBA career, Mourning was a typical teenager growing up in Virginia. As Parade wrote, he had many odd jobs as a teenager, including one at a factory where he packed kale and at a drapery store where he used his waist to hang curtains. He also had his own lawn mowing business. According to Parade, he said, “I used to work on my lawn mower and keep it primed and everything.”

However, his favorite job growing up was working at a Pontiac dealership when he was a freshman in high school. The place was called Parkway Pontiac and his job was to get the cars ready. Mourning was to keep the cars straight in the field and clean. He called the gig “My best summer job,” and it’s no surprise since Pontiac was known for having cool cars.

Here is a brief history of Pontiac and why it ceased operations

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Founded in 1925, Pontiac is one of America’s oldest automotive brands and was founded as a companion brand to General Motors’ Oakland luxury car brand. Funny enough, Pontiac’s popularity overtook the popularity of the Oakland brand, and in 1931 the Oakland brand was replaced by Pontiac.

Pontiac made various cars thereafter, but its most notable years probably occurred in the 60s and 70s with the introduction of cars like the GTO or the Firebird. Since Pontiac was a subsidiary of GM, some of these cars were actually quite similar to cars from other GM lines, such as the Firebird being similar to the Chevy Camaro.

This brand similarity is ultimately one of the reasons GM killed off the Pontiac brand in 2010. At that time, Pontiac was simply selling rebadged Chevys, but at a lower price than what Chevy was selling the originals. This hurt the Chevy brand and also helped make Pontiac an unprofitable brand. It was also during the Great Recession, so GM decided to cut its losses with Pontiac.

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