However tears of a different variety were shed at P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights on Friday afternoon, as Miami Heat point guard Dwayne Wade walked into a crowded court dedication ceremony and basketball clinic.
Students erupted into screams and claps upon his entrance, with one young Wade fan, so overcome with emotion, beginning to cry. He hugged her, which, not surprisingly, did little to quell the tears.
“That girl will always remember that,” said Borough President Eric Adams. “I’m glad players will have the opportunity to see the impact they have on young people. What they say stays with them.”
That, at least, was the hope at Friday’s event, at which Wade, along with Brooklyn Nets player Jason Collins, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, Adams, and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark discussed the importance of leading healthy, active lifestyles as part of the NBA Cares community outreach program.
The program has conducted over 754 events across the city in recent months, ramping up to All-Star weekend, in order to encourage families to live healthy. As part of the program, the NBA through the Department of Education will be refurbishing ten school gymnasiums across the city, two in each borough.
In fact, NBA players were in all five boroughs on Friday conducting basketball clinics at local schools and promoting the NBA Cares healthy living campaign.
“Our players care,” said Tatum. “It’s amazing to be able to bring the NBA and basketball to places that might not get to experience those things.”
“I’m glad I’m one of the guys who can come in and make a little difference,” said Wade after the clinic. “Kids are pure. This is pure right here.”