Wade is the latest in a series of Miami stars to pay their respects, as Heat lifer Udonis Haslem went on June 24 and forward/center Bam Adebayo visited the memorial on July 2. On the morning of June 24, in the immediate wake of the tragedy, Tyler Herro and multiple Miami coaches brought food, water and other aid items to rescue personnel and survivors.
At the collapse site’s makeshift memorial Thursday, Wade stopped and crouched down to pen a message of support that read, “Sending prayer, love, strength and healing.” He then signed it and wrote “Miami Heat” underneath.
Wade also addressed first responders, speaking to the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue team to thank them for their service before they began their shifts.
As of Thursday evening, the death toll had risen to 64 with 76 more people unaccounted for, according to Miami-Dade County mayor Daniella Levine Cava. In a news conference Thursday afternoon at the site, the mayor also said authorities had made the decision to shift the search effort from rescue to recovery.
The condominium collapse just five miles north of Miami is among the deadliest mass casualty building collapses in U.S. history, not including acts of terror or fires.
Wade, the Heat’s No. 5 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft and a three-time NBA champion, appeared overcome with emotion as he walked along the memorial fence, which is covered with photos of victims and those still missing.
Afterward, Wade wrote on his Instagram page: “Today was about Uplifting, Praising and Showing up! Our first responders are the real MVPs.”