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MIAMI (CBSMaim( — In the wake of the Parkland shooting, almost immediately sports became a sense of relief for a grieving community.
Slugger Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs, Florid Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, and Dwyane wade from the Heat – just to name a few – rallied around the high school.
Soon after Miami’s first home game since the shooting – Wade learned he was tied to the tragedy in a way he could never imagine.
One of the victims, Joaquin Oliver was a huge sports fan and in particular a big fan of Wade’s.
At Joaquin’s funeral, classmates wore their favorite jerseys in his honor.
As it turns out Joaquin was wearing one as well. He was buried in a number 3 heat jersey with wade’s name on the back.
“You really cant put that in words,” Wade said at the time. “You hurt for the family. If you ever get the opportunity to speak to them you hope that the time he was alive that you was able to bring some sort of joy to his life that was memorable.”
Something memorable was on the way.
A few nights later against Philadelphia with Joaquin’s name on his shoes, Wade delivered a vintage performance. One that he says came with a little help.
“It was like I was playing with angels in the outfield,” Wade said. “Even JJ Redick’s shot missed. They moved it out the way.”
Wade would dedicate his 2017-18 season to the 17 victims, carrying their memory with him out on to the court. After all this wasn’t his first experience with gun violence.
Back in 2016 Nykea Aldridge was caught in the middle of gunfire on the south side of Chicago in broad daylight.
“it’s really a heavy thing with her right now because we don’t understand it but we’re not going to ask god why,” Wade said at the time.
Families separated by two years and thousands of miles were now connected in loss.
“My family is still dealing with it,” Wade said. “And you to go and be able to go and try to make impact on those young individuals lives, try to make an impact on those families. I know my family appreciated that effort. It meant a lot to them when others did the same for us.”
It took two weeks for the doors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas to reopen after the shooting.
But when they did, D-Wade was there to help bring a smile.
He helped raise $200,000 thousand dollars for the March for our lives, continued to meet with the Oliver family, and even hosted an art exhibit in Wynwood to honor the victims.
He stood with a group hoping for change and says he proud of the way they’ve picked up and carried the ball forward.
“To the young individuals of that school has made everyone proud with how they’ve used their voice and how their actions have matched their voice and try to create change and hopefully that doesn’t happen to another family.”