Dwyane Wade choked back tears when he talked to reporters after learning that a 17-year-old victim in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was a Miami fan and was buried in his own Miami Heat jersey.
He said that there are no words to describe the tragedy that befell the family of Joaquin Oliver. Wade could only hope that Miami fan was able to live his life to the fullest before he was gunned down by troubled teenager Nikolas Cruz.
“It’s emotional even thinking about that, that his parents felt that, buried him in my jersey was something that he wanted,” he said. “I take pride in what I’ve done in this state and what I’ve meant for the youth.”
ESPN reported that Oliver was very excited upon learning that Wade is coming home to the Heat after a brief experiment with the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 36-year-old won three championships with the team.
Oliver apparently was a Venezuelan native who just had acquired an American citizenship.
In a Twitter post on Feb. 26, Wade shared a photo of the Stoneman victim and wrote, “This is Joaquin Oliver. He was one of the 17 young lives that were lost tragically at Douglas HighSchool in Parkland. Joaquin was one of many that i heard was excited about my return to Miami and yesterday was buried in my jersey. This is why we will not just SHUT up and dribble!”
It’s a veiled reference to Fox anchor Laura Ingraham who gave Lebron James an unsolicited advice to keep away from politics and “just shut up and dribble.” She had to issue an apology following the backlash.
Two minutes later, Wade tweeted that the whole issue is bigger than just basketball. “We are the voices for the people that don’t get to be heard. Joaquin Oliver may you Rest In Peace and i dedicate my return and the rest of this Miami Heat season to you.”