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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Dwyane Wade becomes first Marquette player to be elected to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Dwyane Wade plays on the court in the April 5, 2003 game against Kansas in the NCAA Final Four. Photo courtesy the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Marquette University Libraries

Dwyane Wade, one of Marquette’s most decorated athletes, is heading to Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its class of 2023 Saturday morning ahead of the Final Four, with Wade being elected as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Wade becomes the first Marquette player to be elected to the hall of fame. Former head coaches Ed Hickey, Al McGuire and Tex Winter are the lone Marquette members in the hall.

“I haven’t been back to the Final Four in 20 years. This is a great time to come back. I don’t know if anybody — I know everyone up here has seen my mom, my dad and my sister, they’re going to everything with me like I’m a college kid coming out, going through this process for the first time,” Wade said Saturday during a press conference Saturday in Houston.

“This is just truly an honor, truly a blessing for my family and I. And where we come from, this doesn’t happen to anyone. So we’re truly honored and truly blessed to sit on this stage with so much greatness.”

He helped the Golden Eagles to their first Final Four appearance in 2003 since its national championship season in 1977. In Marquette’s 83-69 win over No. 1-overall seed Kentucky in the Elite Eight, Wade finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

“It’s so amazing that 20 years later from our Final Four appearance that Dwyane is back in that Environment to be named a first ballot Hall of Famer. As his career advanced and his legacy in the game of basketball continued to crystallize, there was no doubts he would make it , but is still so surreal that it is actually happening,” former Marquette head coach Tom Crean said in an exclusive statement to the Marquette Wire.

“Dwyane goes all in with everything he does. He’s been all in at Marquette since he first arrived in 2000 and remains that today. He’s a champion in every area of his life because he has always appreciated and respected what he’s done and who he has done it with.

“I could not possibly be any prouder of him or happier for his family.”

Wade was asked by ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas during the network’s hall of fame episode special if he could highlight any of his awards across his career, he said Marquette.

“That is where I think I light up the most. That was the time no expectations were pinned on me or Marquette University and we exceeded any internal expectations we had and any external expectations along the way. We did the improbable,” Wade told ESPN’s Rece Davis and Bilas Saturday. “I’m sitting here because of Jack Fitzgerald and Tom Crean and all the players at Marquette.”

After being drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Wade lead the Heat to the playoffs as a rookie and led the team to the 2006 NBA Championship, earning NBA Finals MVP after averaging 34.7 points in the Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

During the 2018-19 NBA season, Wade became the third player in NBA history to record at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks and 500 3-pointers.

The Chicago native, who was recognized a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021, represented Team USA in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Wade took home the gold in the 2008 Games as the leading scorer on the “Redeem Team.”

Other headlines of this year’s class included NBA stars Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Tony Parker. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and WNBA legend and Las Vegas Aces head coach  Becky Hammon also were elected into the Hall of Fame.

Wade had his jersey retired and put into the rafters by the Golden Eagles back on February 3, 2007.

This article was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at [email protected] or 

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