Former basketball superstar Alonzo Mourning was in the Senate on Thursday to promote kidney transplant research and funding.

Mourning, who had a kidney transplant in 2003, said he was lobbying senators for greater funding.

"Obviously the issue truly resonates with me because there's a lot of individuals out there suffering from chronic kidney disease - over 20 million to be exact," Mourning said. "And there's another 20 million who are at risk. Many of them have to exhaust all of their personal assets in order to receive the proper health care to lead a productive lifestyle.

Mourning seemed well-known by several senators, including Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who apologized to Mourning for not having read Mourning's book.

"I could lie to you, but I'm not going to do that,". Kerry said. "II swear, I promise I'll read it by the next time I see you."

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was among several to comment on Mourning's towering height.

"My basketball partner!" Boxer exclaimed upon seeing Mourning

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) hopped up on a railing to get even with Mourning's eye level. "I'd better get up here to talk to you," he said.

Asked his pick for the NBA playoffs, Mourning said, "Lakers."