MIAMI — Dwyane Wade has repeatedly said over his NBA career that his life is bigger than basketball.
On Sunday, he was reminded that’s still the case when he learned that one of the 17 people killed in the Parkland school shooting on Feb. 14 was buried wearing his Heat jersey. The parents of Joaquin Oliver revealed Sunday on the Univision talk show Al Punto that their son was buried wearing his Wade jersey.
“You’re about to make me cry this afternoon,” Wade tweeted Sunday when learning this.
After Monday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena, Wade had more to say.
“You really can’t put that in words,” he said. “You hurt for the family and if you’re able to get an opportunity to speak to them, you just try to hope that the time where he was alive, that you was able to bring some form of joy to his life and something memorable, a story that you guys can talk about.
“I don’t even know the word for it. Like I retweeted on Twitter, I said, ‘You’re going to make me cry.’ It’s emotional even thinking about that, that his parents felt that burying him in my jersey is something that he wanted. I take a lot of pride in what I’ve done in this state and what I’ve meant for the youth, so I appreciate that.”
Before Saturday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Wade addressed the AmericanAirlines Arena crowd during a tribute for those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The Heat will wear a “MSD” patch on the left shoulder of their uniforms for the rest of the season.
“Tonight, we honor the 17 lives that were tragically lost in Parkland,” Wade said to the crowd. “We applaud the fearless students that are fighting for their lives. We also make sure that their voices are heard around gun safety. You are our nation’s inspiration. We salute you and we support you.”
The officiant who led Oliver’s memorial service on Feb. 17 said the 17-year-old was excited for Wade’s return to the Heat. Miami acquired the 12-time All-Star in a trade on Feb. 8, a week before the shooting.
“I definitely always said, my life has always been bigger than basketball,” Wade said. “Playing here and being able to do some of the things I’ve done on the court, and I think off the court just as equally, has helped that for sure.
“My mom always told me that my life was bigger than basketball. And I always carry that around by the way I try to treat people. I treat them the way that I want to be treated or the way I want my kids to be treated. I also understand the position that I’m in. God has given me this unbelievable opportunity to play at this level, and I understand what comes with that from a role model standpoint.”