Bam’s banner plan: Win Olympic gold to lift spirits in Miami

Usa Basketball

Bam Adebayo prepares to shoot during training for USA Basketball, Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo wants to join the sterling list of players who’ve won an Olympic gold medal as a member of the Miami Heat.

He also hopes to lift the spirits of a city that’s still hurting from the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida. Adebayo has visited the site of the disaster, which left 97 people dead with a handful of people still unaccounted for.

Miami is hurting right now, a month or so removed from the condo collapse in Surfside, a waterfront town just a few miles north of downtown Miami. The middle-of-the-night crumbling of that building has been blamed for at least 97 deaths with a handful of people still unaccounted for.

One of Adebayo’s final things to do before he left Miami for USA Basketball’s camp in Las Vegas was to go to the site, to pay his respects, to thank first responders, to tell them he would have them in mind on his Olympic journey. He was told that the bottom seven floors of the complex were essentially pushed underground by the weight of the floors above them and that made him think of the apartment building where until recently he and his mother lived; Adebayo was on the 48th floor, his mother on the fifth.

He spoke with someone who was rescued, along with plenty of people who were working long hours digging through the rubble.

“The least I can do is go out and try to win my country a gold medal, win my city a gold medal,” Adebayo said. “To bring that back to Miami, it would just give some people a little light, a little spark that they need right now.”

The Heat center and most of his USA Basketball teammates arrived in Japan on Tuesday for the Tokyo Olympics. Adebayo says he wants to be thought of as “one of the greats” who have played in Miami.

Categories: National News, Olympics