Dreams do come true. Just ask Tamara Johnson.
The Albuquerque native received a full-tuition scholarship in 2010, sending her to Marquette University in Wisconsin. Dwyane Wade's World Foundation teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club and the university to send Johnson and nine others to the NBA star's alma mater.
"It'll be interesting to see their growth in four years when they get done to see how they are," Wade said after meeting the group.
Fast-forward to 2019, Johnson had not one, but two degrees from Marquette. She went onto law school and clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Gonzales and interned with the United States Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque.
Since becoming a lawyer, she's moved back to New Mexico and currently works for a law firm in Santa Fe. All these years later, she was able to say thank you face-to-face.
Saying thank you again
In a video tribute created by Budweiser, Dwayne Wade walks on his home court at American Airlines Arena in Miami to meet unknown guests for what he says are unknown reasons.
No other famous athletes or superstars head on the court. Just five people, including Johnson, who tell him the impact he's had on their lives.
"It was always my dream that I'd get the chance to go to college but we just didn't have the money," Johnson told Wade. "Without you and your full-tuition scholarship, none of this would be possible."
Wade has traded jerseys with fellow NBA players throughout his career. In the video, Johnson trades her cap and gown from her 2014 Marquette graduation for one of his jerseys.
'Bigger than basketball'
“Throughout the year, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my basketball career and thank so many teammates, coaches and mentors who have impacted me on the court," Wade said in a release. "Thanks to Budweiser for reminding me that my connection to people is bigger than basketball. While my basketball career is coming to a close in the coming days, my relationship with my fans will only continue to grow.”
Wade's final home game is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9 against the Philadelphia 76ers and final NBA game the following night against on the road against the Brooklyn Nets.
Nate Chute is a producer with the USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter at @nchute.