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NBA star Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat was met with cheers on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when he met with students who have been advocating for gun control since the Valentine’s Day shooting that left 17 people dead.
Students from the Florida school said Wade, who reportedly visited in part because one of the students killed in the shooting was buried in his jersey, had a “more personable conversation” with the teens than Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos did during her Wednesday visit.
In tweets, Wade said he had a “great conversation” with students and was inspired by their activism.
I just had a great conversation with some of the students at Stoneman Douglas High School about some important/impactful things that they have planned. I’m looking forward to being more involved in the change that they WILL create. #MSDStrong 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 7, 2018
Our conversation about bridging the gap between the students from Parkland, Florida and Chicago was really impressive. These young adults GET IT. They understand the power of their voices for the ones that often go unheard!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 7, 2018
In the wake of the mass shooting, teens from the school have used social media and met with political leaders to call for common sense gun control laws. On Wednesday, students shared videos of Wade’s visit.
DWADE JUST PULLED UP AT DOUGLAS BROOOOOOOOOO WHAT pic.twitter.com/YYTaG5GFa5— sebi #neveragain #msdstrong (@sebiloveschoco) March 7, 2018
“I just wanted to come here today and hopefully, for a moment, for a second, bring a little of this — bring a little excitement,” Wade said as students cheered in the cafeteria.
“As someone out here in the public eye, I’m proud to say I’m from this state because of you guys and because of the future of this world because of you guys,” he added. “So, I’ll just say, thank you, man. MSD strong, all the way. Thank you all for the love.”
While @DwyaneWade was at #msdstrong strong. It wasn't just for photo opps @jaclyncorin @AAlhanti @John_Barnitt @Ryan_Deitsch were taking care of business and seeing where he can best be of help! #NeverAgainMSD @AMarch4OurLives #gratitude pic.twitter.com/6KvoDmAAuH— Michael Udine (@Michaeludine) March 7, 2018
Jaclyn Corin, a 17-year-old who has been active in the student-led gun control movement, tweeted her gratitude for Wade’s visit, adding that she “can’t say the same” for DeVos. Other students on Wednesday had tweeted their disappointment with the secretary of education’s press conference at the school.
“Dwyane Wade had a longer, more personable conversation with us than the secretary of education,” Corin told BuzzFeed News.
Wade tweeted last week that one of the students killed in the Parkland shooting, 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver, was a Miami Heat fan and was buried in Wade’s No. 3 jersey.
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! pic.twitter.com/X0tfTTao33— DWade (@DwyaneWade) February 26, 2018
H/T BuzzFeed News
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.