The university announced his contribution when the popular guard visited the 17th-ranked Golden Eagles’ game against Villanova.
According to the Associated Press, Wade said at the halftime news conference, “I’ve always talked about, when a door opens, not squeezing through that door and letting it close by me – holding it open. This is an opportunity to hold that door open for our next generation.”
With his generosity coming a few days before his birthday on Wednesday, Wade expressed, “It’s a great way to start the 42nd birthday week. At 42, it isn’t really a cool birthday. Nobody’s celebrating in between 40 and 45, right? But I have no idea, I can’t put into words what these last few hours have been… I’m very grateful. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world because of all the opportunities and all the places that I get to sit.”
Through his generosity, the university will be able to develop its athletic and human performance research center, which will include a new practice facility for the men’s basketball program, and grow its summer reading program for Milwaukee children. Additionally, the Wade Scholars program will be established, benefiting low-income students.
The new practice facility is still in the fundraising and building stages, and once completed, the court will be named after Wade.
“The games are when fans get the opportunity to come and enjoy all the hard work that’s put in behind the scenes. But practice, that’s where my money was made. That’s where my legacy was built. And so for each kid that will come through this university to be able to see that name on that court, hopefully that’s the message, that they understand this is where legacy is built, this is where you take advantage of the opportunities given to you,” the 42-year-old remarked.
His gift was presented the day after the Miami Heat declared they would erect a bronze bust of him outside the Kaseya Center.
The majority of Wade’s 16-year NBA career was spent with the Miami Heat, where he won three titles, according to WTAE. He was selected fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft.
In 2023, he was named one of 12 new Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees.