Co-Written by Samantha Goldblum and Ryen Kowalczyk
On Tuesday, April 9, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School choir performed the national anthem at the Miami Heat basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the American Airlines Arena located in downtown Miami.
Seven students were invited to sing at Dwyane Wade’s final game to honor him and what he has done for the MSD community.
The students that sang at the basketball game saw this as an opportunity to give back to Wade after he came to MSD to honor Joaquin Oliver who was a lifetime fan of Wade, and was buried in his jersey.
“Us being there to honor him, after he came and supported us, was very special to all of us,” senior Krista Barry said.
Singing at the game made the choir realize just how welcoming and supportive people can be. They met several people at the game, including John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, who kept complimenting the choir’s performance.
“As we were walking off the court, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen told us we did amazing and we all ran off of the court and screamed about it,” Barry said.
For many of the members of the MSD choir that participated in the performance, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Despite the nerves surrounding the performance, the choir wanted to live up to their highest ability.
“Ever since I was a little girl, Dwyane Wade has played a big part in my life. So it was an honor singing for him knowing he’s been a part of our school,” sophomore Hayley Betancourt said.
Singing in front of a huge crowd of people was an unforgettable experience for the choir. The Heat won, Wade scoring 30 points in the 122-99 battle.
“Singing in front of that large crowd was so surreal. We had practiced so many times and the national anthem is something I’ve been singing since freshman year, but when we walked out there and saw the crowd cheering and clapping, it was something you couldn’t prepare for and was kind of just a moment you want to be in forever,” Barry said.
When the choir left the stadium that night, they knew that the honor given to them was once in a lifetime and was equally as special for them as it was for Wade.