Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade dropped by Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday to thank students for their inspiring response to last month’s mass shooting at their Parkland, Florida, campus.
Students and school staff flooded social media with photos and videos from Wade’s visit. The shooting guard, who has called for gun safety in the wake of the massacre, spoke as students excitedly crowded around him.
“I just wanted to come and say I’m inspired by all of you,” Wade told the students, many of whom are involved in organizing the upcoming March for Our Lives to demand stronger gun legislation.
“As someone out here in the public eye, I’m proud to say I’m from this state because of you guys, because of the future of this world because of you guys,” he continued.
Wade, who was traded back to the Heat just a week before a teen gunman killed 17 students and faculty members at the high school on Feb. 14, has vowed to help spotlight the victims and the survivors’ fight for gun control.
He said he was especially touched after learning one of the teenaged victims, Joaquin Oliver, was buried in a Heat jersey bearing Wade’s name and number.
“You’re about to make me cry,” Wade tweeted when he learned of Joaquin’s burial. He dedicated this season to the teen, saying in a tweet: “This is why we will not just SHUT up and dribble!” ― a response to Fox News host Laura Ingraham urging basketball players to stay out of the gun control discussion.
Wade invited Oliver’s family to a Heat game earlier this month and delivered an emotional tribute at the time.
“We honor the 17 lives that were tragically lost in Parkland,” he said. “We applaud the fearless students that are fighting for their lives. We will also make sure that their voices are heard around gun safety. You are our nation’s inspiration. We salute you and we support you.”
Neither the Heat nor the high school immediately responded to HuffPost’s request for more details about Wade’s visit.
See more photos from Wade’s trip to the school below: