This season marks the 10th anniversary of the Miami Heat‘s “Home Strong” initiative where they honor members of the United States Armed Forces.
To celebrate this, the team has planned to wear their Home Strong uniforms this week, and it began in their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday night. Each member of the Heat will be having a name of a fallen soldier on top of their left breast.
Heat chief marketing officer Michael McCullough, discussed the team’s initiative and commitment they have to the military:
“We introduced the uniforms last year, but we wanted to see if we could take the commitment that we have to the military to another level. To honor one member of the military who gave his life in service of the country by putting a patch of that soldier’s name here on the players’ jerseys.”
The team will continue to wear their special uniforms for four more games. Even team president, Pat Riley, and the coaching staff, will also have a soldier’s name on their chest. The Heat also released a video which includes footages of encounters between the players and the families of the modern day heroes.
Heat captain Udonis Haslem and head coach Erik Spoelstra spoke about what it means to them to honor the fallen soldiers who put their lives on the line for the country and talked about how they have inspired them.
“It just means so much to me because I look up to the men and women who represent us every day,” Heat veteran Udonis Haslem said of Lt. Col. Edmundo Lluberes. “What I do is just the game of basketball. People like him inspire me. I will represent his family the best way I know how.”
"Now we're actually meeting families." #HOMESTRONG pic.twitter.com/DxhZ1XSFD6
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) November 7, 2016
The Heat are celebrating their initiative just in time for Veteran’s Day on Friday, November 11.
(h/t Ball Don’t Lie)