MIAMI -- It's a big weekend for Dwyane Wade.
And before all that, the Miami Heat star will receive a big
honor: His Marquette jersey is being retired.
A ceremony is set for Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee, where
Wade's No. 3 will be hoisted at halftime of the Golden Eagles' game
with Providence. The Heat will play in Milwaukee against the Bucks
on Saturday night.
"I'm excited, because this is something that doesn't happen to
a lot of players, especially a player like me who didn't finish,"
said Wade, who left Marquette after his junior year. "This is an
honor for me, to be one of the nine guys to get his jersey retired.
I'm just very honored. I feel blessed."
Wade didn't play as a freshman because of academic issues; he
was a partial qualifier coming out of high school. But in his two
on-court seasons at Marquette, the Golden Eagles were 53-13 and
reached the 2003 Final Four -- their first trip to the national
semifinals since 1977.
In his final year at Marquette, Wade -- the MVP of last year's
NBA finals, where he led the Heat to their first championship by
beating the Dallas Mavericks in six games -- set a school record,
scoring 710 points.
"In a short period of time, Dwyane Wade has made an impact
across the world with his ability as a basketball player, but more
importantly as a human being," Marquette head coach Tom Crean
said. "We had an opportunity at Marquette to see that first hand
and are better because of him."
Other Marquette players to have their jerseys retired are Dean
Meminger, Butch Lee, Maurice Lucas, George Thompson, Bo Ellis, Doc
Rivers, Earl Tatum and Don Kojis.
Marquette has also retired three other numbers: 11, for the
Apollo 11 crew; 38, for the years Robert Weingart served as
athletic director; and 77 for coach Al McGuire, who led the school
to the 1977 national championship.
"I can't wait to share the moment with my coach and the whole
community of Milwaukee, that was so great to me in my three years
there," Wade said.
Wade entered Friday ranked fifth this season in scoring,
averaging 28.7 points for the Heat. He scored 41 points Thursday
night, leading Miami to a comeback 92-89 win over the Cleveland
"My whole life is happening quickly," Wade said. "It seemed
like it took 21 long years at first, and the last four have been