Udonis Haslem misses Heat game to watch son win state title with No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas

Udonis Haslem misses Heat game to watch son win state title with No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas

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Udonis Haslem misses Heat game to watch son win state title with No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas

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When the Miami Heat took on the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Friday, longtime Heat stalwart Udonis Haslem wasn’t in uniform on the sideline. Instead, he was a few rows above a different sideline, at a different game for a different sport.

As reported by the Miami Herald, Haslem was granted a day off on Friday so that he could watch his oldest son, Kedonis Haslem, compete in his final high school game as a starting offensive lineman for USA TODAY Super 25 No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas. Haslem was granted his request to attend the game by Heat president Pat Riley, found his own way to what eventually became a 45-6 Class 7A state title victory for Aquinas against Tampa Plant.

RELATED: No. 6 St. Thomas Aquinas wins 10th Florida state title, third in a row

According to Haslem, he wasn’t able to stick around to celebrate with his son — Haslem had to rush back to Chicago to reunite with the Heat — but the ability to watch Kedonis line up one final time before he heads to college was an important gift for Haslem, and one he won’t soon forget, particularly since it left the Heat with the NBA minimum eight players suited up for their game in Cleveland due to a rash of injuries.

“I mean, I’ve got a great relationship with this organization,” Haslem told the Herald. “I’ve been with them a long time. We’ve sacrificed a lot for each other. I think it was a tougher decision for me to ask than it was for them to answer.

“I’m the ultimate professional. I want to be there for my guys whether it’s playing or mentoring or whatever the situation may be. You know, I never really have been in a situation like this. But being it’s my son’s last high school game ever — and also a state championship — I just wanted to be a part of it.”

He got to be, and even if he wasn’t there at the final whistle, Kedonis Haslem got to look up into the stands and know that his father was looking on to one of his finest and final hours of high school football.

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