Former Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade was the surprise guest speaker at Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ graduation ceremony Sunday.
Wade had also paid a surprise visit to the Florida high school last year – the day after it reopened following the shootings on Feb. 14, 2018.
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“I’m so proud to say the words ‘MSD Strong,’” he said. “Today, you will close a chapter in your lives and embark on new experiences and journeys and memories. And it’s a time to celebrate and be proud of everything you’ve done to make it to this moment. As you know, I, too, recently closed a pretty significant chapter in my life. So in a way I feel like I can relate to what’s going on in your minds right now.”
He recalled his 2018 visit to the school.
“What started going through my mind was, ‘How do I dare come here and act like I know what you guys have been going through? How narcissistic of me to think I can come here and make a difference because I’m good at my sport?’” Wade said. “I remember walking slowly to the cafeteria. As I was walking in, students started seeing me, started seeing smiles, people running, pulling out their phones. And I remember thinking, ‘Wow.’”
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Wade, who retired in April, also mentioned Joaquin Oliver – a Parkland shooting victim who was a big fan of the player and was buried in a Wade jersey.
Wade ended his speech by leading a cheer he used during the 2013 NBA Finals with the Heat: “to the last man, to the last minute, to the last second, we fight! We fight! We fight!”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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