Written by: Ira Winderman
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said spending Sunday at Parkland’s rec-league championship games is part of an ongoing effort by the team, as members of the South Florida community, to be there for those most affected by the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and 17 more wounded.
Honoring the memories of the students killed in the shootings, the Heat coach was joined by players Bam Adebayo, Hassan Whiteside, Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder as they spent time alongside families who suffered the unimaginable losses.
“Yesterday was a very special day because we were able to spend time with the families who lost their sons,” Spoelstra said Monday, before his team faced the Denver Nuggets at AmericanAirlines Arena. “You can’t even imagine or relate. We just wanted to be there, and we met the Hoyers, met the Schachters and met the Olivers.
“Manny [victim Joaquin Oliver’s father] was actually coaching the team Joaquin played on and they won the championship. I was one of the assistant coaches, honorary coaches on the other team.”
“We just want to tell them we were there for them,” Spoelstra said. “Especially as time goes on, the pain doesn’t go away. The more support they can get we want to provide that.