Grab your tissue, you’re gonna need it. On Tuesday Budweiser released a four minute ad that highlights some of Dwyane Wade’s impact off the court.
Since he announced his retirement last year, Wade has been seen exchanging jerseys with some of the best players in the league. Together they represent the people who challenged him to play at his best whenever he stepped on the court.
But this ad isn’t about them. It’s about the people who helped Wade evolve off the court. In it, they share the impact he had on their lives during their time of need.
At the American Airlines arena, Wade stands in the middle of the court, unsure about who is coming to bring him another jersey to add to his collection. One by one, five people walk out, holding a garment of clothing that hallmarks an important milestone or memory in their life that Wade was a part of. From his mother, Jolinda, to the sister of Joaquin Oliver, a student killed in the Parkland shooting, they all share the influence Wade has had on them.
In the video, which ends with Wade and his mother, she recalls her own journey as a parent who went from serving time in prison to serving as the pastor of a church, with her son by her side each step of the way. The last voice we hear is hers and it captures the sentiment everyone who watches the video should walk away with.
“I am more proud of the man you have become than basketball. You are bigger than basketball.”
Dwyane Wade will play his last regular season game on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets. While his career is coming to an end, this ad made it clear that his impact beyond the basketball arena will continue.