Dwyane Wade is a professional NBA player who plays for the Miami Heat. He was born on January 17, 1982 in Chicago, Illinois to Dwyane Sr. and Jolinda Wade. His parents separated when he was very young and Wade and his older sister Tragil initially went to live with their mother. She was financially unstable, and lived in a crime ridden neighborhood in Chicago. At the age of 8, his sister sent Wade to live with his father, so he could move away from the negative influences of their surroundings. Wade credits his older sister as a driving force in his life, and someone who helped to steer him in the right direction.
Wade’s father lived with his new wife and children and soon moved to a new suburb with a better atmosphere. He attended Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn and began to play basketball with his father, stepbrothers and new friends. His older stepbrother Demetrius was a proficient basketball player at their high school, and Wade learnt a lot playing with him. He also played on his school’s football team but always remained dedicated to basketball. By his junior year, he was a regular member of the varsity basketball team and after improving his skills and leaping 4 inches during the summer, Wade began to be recognized as a star player.
He had impressive stats and began to be recognized as a potential recruit by several colleges. His success continued into his senior year but because of his poor academic performance, he was rejected by many of the colleges he applied to. His high school coach, Jack Fitzgerald provided him with immense support, and helped Wade to get admission at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Because of his grades, he was ineligible to play on the team but the head coach took him on as a partial qualifier. During the 2000-01 season, Wade couldn’t participate in the team’s games but was allowed to play and practice with them otherwise. His stats remained impressive, and during his junior year, Wade led his college to their first Conference USA championship and a spot in the Final Four for the first time in 25 years. He was the team’s lead scorer and recorded a triple-double, only the fourth in NCAA tournament history.
After being chosen as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Midwest Regional Final and gaining exposure in the local press, Wade decided to leave college during his senior year and enroll for the 2003 NBA draft. He was chosen by the Miami Heat. In his first year, his impressive performance led him to be selected to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie team. In 2006, he helped his team to reach and win the NBA Finals, and was named the MVP in the finals. He suffered from several injuries in subsequent years but returned in 2008 for another fantastic season, arguably his best scoring season with the Miami Heat. In 2012 and 2013, he helped his team to win the NBA Finals for two consecutive years.
Dwyane Wade is one of the most well known and popular players in the league. He had the top selling jersey in the NBA for 2 years and also led the United States men’s basketball team to winning the Gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. He has achieved several awards and honors throughout his career, including NBA Scoring Champion, Miami Heat all-time leading scorer, and being named to the NBA All Star, and NBA First, Second and Third teams. He was married to his high school girlfriend, Siohvaughn Funches, with whom he has two sons. The couple divorced in 2007 and Wade subsequently received custody of both children. He has published his autobiography titled “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball” which explores his journey as a father and a professional athlete.