Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade visited Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Wednesday, taking pictures with excited students and commending them for their activism in the weeks following the mass shooting at their Parkland school.
Wade, visiting the school on the Heat’s off day after traveling back from Washington, D.C., wrote in a pair of tweets that he talked with a group of students at the high school about being involved in some of the projects that they have planned.
“Our conversation about bridging the gap between the students from Parkland, Florida and Chicago was really impressive,” Wade wrote on Twitter. “These young adults GET IT. They understand the power of their voices for the ones that often go unheard!”
Joey Pelose, a junior at the school, tweeted a picture of him and a group of students with Wade, calling him the GOAT (an acronym for Greatest of All Time).
“Greatest moment of my life,” Pelose tweeted.
Diego Pfeiffer, another student at the school, wrote: “Thx @DwyaneWade for casually dropping by our school and causing a stampede in the cafeteria An interesting lunch to be sure, thank you for your support!”
Wade has already made a touching impact on the Douglas community following the Feb. 14 mass shooting that killed 17 members of the school’s community.
He dedicated the rest of his season to Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, a 14-year-old who was one of the 17 killed and was buried in his Wade jersey. Oliver’s family were special guests of Wade’s at Saturday’s game at AmericanAirlines Arena, and Wade has played with Oliver’s name on his sneakers ever since he found out about Oliver.
In the first game Wade played in Oliver’s honor — a 102-101 win over the Philadelphis 76ers on Feb. 27 — Wade hit the game-winning jump shot with 5.9 seconds left to play and afterward said he felt like had angles helping guide his shots.
“Life is bigger than basketball,” Wade said after meeting Oliver’s family. “This is definitely bigger than the game. Even though the game has brought certain people to admire me, this definitely makes it bigger than that. [What they did burying their son in my jersey] I don’t even know how to put it into words or thought at all. In a tough moment for a family, there’s so many decisions that you have to make. And for me to be a part of that — that he would have wanted to be buried in my jersey — that’s mind-boggling to me.”
Teacher Debbie Jacobson posted a picture of her with Wade on Twitter as well Wednesday thanking the Heat player for all he did for Oliver’s family.
“Meeting this man would have meant the world to Joaquin Oliver, one of our fallen 17,” Jacobson said. “I gave Dwayne Wade a hug from Guac and told him how much he loved him! Thank you for being generous with your time today! A real bright spot for our kids!”