Dwyane Wade returned to his alma mater Sunday to receive an honorary doctorate and provide a commencement speech for the 2022 graduates.
The NBA champion received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Marquette University, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Wade smiled from ear to ear while accepting his degree from University President Michael Lovell.
Wade was a standout at the school from 2000 to 2003 and left a year early after being drafted by the NBA’s Miami Heat. Once a professional athlete, Wade became an superstar. He secured three championships, an Olympic gold medal in 2008, and a place on the NBA’s list of the 75 greatest players ever.
“Today, we celebrate what you have accomplished as we should,” Wade told the 1,942 undergraduates during his commencement speech.
“Tomorrow, wake up to begin the next leg of your journey. Your passion. I repeat your passion lies on the journey.”
Wade, of course, gave a special shoutout to his former Marquette basketball coach, Tom Crean, who visited his home with a cap and gown from the school while he was still in high school.
“He wasn’t recruiting me just because of my basketball abilities, but also because he believed that I wanted more for myself and my family,” Wade said.
“Coach Crean recognized me as someone worthy, and was giving me a chance to prove myself.”
Wade, who retired from the NBA in 2019, ended his commencement speech with a message of hope and resilience toward the future.
“As we become more self-aware, we achieve a better understanding of who we are,” Wade said. “We discover our values. Our character. What we consider to be right or wrong. We discover what drives us, what inspires us, and motivates us. Through self-awareness we are given the opportunity to design who we truly want and deserve to be.”