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Father of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed young man whose shooting death sparked widespread outrage, said Sunday night that he and his family have been overwhelmed by sports stars such as Dwyane Wade and LeBron James speaking out in honor of his son.

PHOTOS: #HoodiesUp! Miami Heat Players Ride For Trayvon Martin

Tracy Martin told the Associated Press that he would like to thank the NBA’s Miami Heat for “taking notice” of the killing.

At the time of his death Trayvon was wearing hoodie, and on Friday, Wade posted a photo of himself in a hooded top to his social media pages, while James tweeted a photo of 13 Heat players wearing black hoodies with their heads bowed in a tribute to the slain boy.

Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks made similar gestures.

Tracy Martin told the AP:

“I saw a post that D-Wade had saying, ‘I am Trayvon Martin.’ To see all these athletes put Trayvon in the same sentence with them, it feels real good. Trayvon was an excellent athlete and if he could hear them saying his name, he would be so moved by it.”

Neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed Trayvon in Sanford, Florida. on Feb. 26th, claiming self-defense. He still has not been arrested.

Zimmerman had called police to report the hooded figure as suspicious. Trayvon was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea while returning to the home of his father’s fiancée in the gated community.

As they did in Friday night’s game against Detroit, several Heat players scrawled messages about Trayvon on the sneakers they wore on the court Sunday. The Heat said they hope having players speak out about the killing helps “in our nation’s healing.”

James said Sunday in Oklahoma City, where the Heat were playing the Thunder:

“We just couldn’t imagine (anyone’s) son leaving to go play basketball or go to the drugstore or go anywhere and he doesn’t return.” 

Tracy Martin said a number of athletes have reached out to the family, asking how they can help.

A large rally is being organized in Sanford today, coinciding with a city commission meeting, and more star power from the sports world is expected.

Orlando Magic assistant coach and former NBA star Patrick Ewing plans to attend, according to a spokesman for the Martin family, as does Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis – who makes his offseason home not far from where Trayvon Martin was killed.

Lewis plans on addressing the crowd at Monday’s rally.

Tracy Martin said:

“These athletes are saying, ‘It’s not about who I am. It’s about right and wrong.’ It’s like everybody’s taking notice. The Miami Heat came out in their hoodies, and that’s just saying, ‘We are people, we have hearts, we have feelings, we have emotions.’ That’s a warm feeling. The sports world has embraced this big-time.”

The fight for justice in Trayvon’s killing is on going, but the world has taken notice. #HoodiesUp

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