Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade is making a $3 million dollar donation to his alma mater Marquette University, the school announced on Monday during the team’s matchup against Villanova University.
Wade’s gift will have multiple uses, including growing the school’s summer reading program for Milwaukee children and establishing the Wade Scholars program benefiting low-income students.
“I’ve always talked about, when a door opens, not squeezing through that door and letting it close by me – holding it open,” Wade said at a halftime news conference. “This is an opportunity to hold that door open for our next generation.”
The donation will also expand the university’s athletic and human performance research center. It will directly benefit the men’s basketball team – something close to Wade’s heart – as the money will be used for a new practice facility.
The court at the practice facility will also be named after Wade.
“The games are when fans get the opportunity to come and enjoy all the hard work that’s put in behind the scenes,” Wade said. “But practice, that’s where my money was made. That’s where my legacy was built. And so for each kid that will come through this university to be able to see that name on that court, hopefully that’s the message, that they understand this is where legacy is built, this is where you take advantage of the opportunities given to you.”
It’s great to see Wade giving back to a program that helped shape him into the player he became during his NBA career with the Miami Heat.
During his two seasons at Marquette, Wade averaged 19.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. He was a consensus All-American during his time at Marquette and led the program to the Final Four in the 2002-03 season.
After leaving Marquette and declaring for the NBA Draft, Wade was picked with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Heat.
In his storied NBA career, Wade averaged 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 48.0 percent from the field. He won a scoring title in the 2008-09 season and was an All-NBA selection eight times in his career.
The Hall of Famer led the Heat to three NBA titles in his career, and he won the NBA Finals MVP award in his first NBA Finals victory.
Wade was honored by the Heat on Sunday, where it was revealed that the team would be building a statue outside of Kaseya Center in his honor.
“It’s a great way to start the 42nd birthday week,” Wade said. “At 42, it isn’t really a cool birthday. Nobody’s celebrating in between 40 and 45, right? But I have no idea, I can’t put into words what these last few hours have been. … I’m very grateful. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world because of all the opportunities and all the places that I get to sit.”
Wade made an amazing impact on Marquette and the Heat as a player, and now he’s giving back to Marquette to help others live out their dream like he did.