Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade has been trading jerseys with stars around the NBA all season as part of his good-bye tour.
One of the greatest basketball players of the generation, Wade is set to play in the final regular season home game of his career. Over 16 seasons, Wade has won three NBA championships, made 13 All-Star games and was named to eight ALL-NBA teams.
But a Budwieser commercial shows how far his impact goes beyond the basketball court.
Five people who he directly helped met him inside American Airlines Arena to speak with him one final time before he retires from the Miami Heat and his basketball career.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 9, 2019
One of them was Andrea Oliver, whose brother, Joaquin, passed away in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.) shooting on Feb. 14, 2018.
Joaquin revered Wade, imitated him as a basketball player from a young age, and was buried in the star’s jersey, according to Heatzone. Wade met the family, gave them a jersey and pair of custom shoes and invited them to a game.
“You’re not Wade, the basketball player, the legend — you’re the human being that took the time and on his own wrote my brother’s name on his shoe and you cared,” Andrea said to Wade in the video.
She gave him the high school basketball jersey Joaquin wore in his final championship basketball game with a message written out on it: “Please don’t forget my brother, Joaquin.”
Another person who met Wade at the Heat stadium was a woman whose college tuition was paid for by the Miami player.
“It was always my dream that I’d get the chance to go to college, but we just didn’t have the money,” she said. “Without you and your full-tuition scholarship, none of this would have been possible.”
For that, the woman gave Wade her cap and gown.
The other people included a woman who Wade helped after her house was destroyed by a fire, a man from an area where “not too many people make it” who last saw him 12 years ago and was inspired by him, and Wade’s mother, whose son purchased her a church to help her start a ministry after she was released from prison.
They too gave Wade pieces of clothing to keep with the jerseys he had amassed.
“It wouldn’t be possible to be here if it wasn’t for you,” said the man who got a job with inspiration from Wade.
From Wade’s mother:
“I am more proud of the man you have become than the basketball player. You are bigger than basketball.”