Dwyane Wade’s return to the Miami Heat excited his biggest fans, including 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver. Oliver loved the NBA All-Star so much that his father told Univision he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the player’s new Miami Vice styled jersey. “Dad, guess who's coming back? Guess who's coming home?" Oliver's dad recalled his son saying. "Wade is coming back. I need that jersey!"
However last month, Oliver’s family buried him in Wade’s number 3 jersey after he was killed during the Parkland, Florida shooting on February 14. The gesture moved Wade so much that he dedicated the season to Oliver, and sported a pair of sneakers with the teen's name written on them.
“Even though the game has brought certain people to admire me, this definitely makes it bigger than that," Wade told the Miami Herald. "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."
Wade invited Oliver’s family to Saturday's game against the Detroit Pistons. He brought Oliver’s sister onto the court to stand with him for the national anthem before the Heat won 105-96. After the game, Wade gave Oliver’s family one of the neon pink and turquoise jerseys the teen had wanted so badly. He also gifted them a pair of custom basketball shoes that include Oliver’s name on them.
"I'm thankful they came to the game, thankful I got a chance just to talk to them and tell them my appreciation, to let them know we will continue to use our voice, to continue to shine the light on what they're talking about and what they're going through and what they're dealing with," Wade told the Sun-Sentinel.