Dwyane Wade: My Life as an NBA Superstar Single Dad

by Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat.

There are a few words that come to mind when I think about the past couple years of my life: challenging, rewarding, transformative—they roll off the tip of my tongue in an instant. In the span of a year my two good friends LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined me on the Miami Heat, I struggled through a painful, public divorce, and I became the full-time parent to my two young sons, Zaire and Zion.

I’ve had some ups and downs lately, but the memories of the unpleasant times disappear quickly, in part because of moments like the one recently when I was able to surprise my younger son, Zion, at his school with cupcakes for his fourth birthday. It was the day after we’d won the Eastern Conference finals, but that victory couldn’t compare with the huge smile on Zion’s face at that moment. I will never forget it. Bad memories vanish each morning when I walk into both of my sons’ bedrooms to wake them up for school—their laughter gives me all I need to face whatever is happening in my life. Not too long ago, due to custody issues, I wasn’t allowed to see my sons for long periods of time, or was given the chance to see them for only a few hours with no idea of if or when I’d see them again. I can’t describe how trying those days were, fighting for full custody while also working as a professional basketball player nine months of the year. I just knew I wanted to be with my kids.

I was seriously motivated to be a full-time parent for my sons. My mother and father weren’t together when I was a kid growing up in Chicago, and early on my mother fell victim to drug abuse. At 9 years old, I moved in with my father because my mother could no longer care for me. Looking back, I now see so many similarities between my own childhood and that of my sons. My father stepped in when I needed him, and that gave me the chance for a better life. That’s what I’m doing for my boys now.

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  • http://twitter.com/C_Rich75 C. World

    I’m proud of Dwayne Wade,especially with so many negative stories covering black athletes….some well deserved some not. It’s refreshing to finally read or hear something positive pertaining to a black man period.  Much respect Mr. Wade. Fathers are just as important as mothers in the proper development of a child.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

    This is beautiful to see and hear..It fills my heart with joy to see and hear about black men doing for their children, especially boys who need that male model…There are more black men out here who are responsible, hardworking, loving fathers to their children, than what the media likes to portray, spern doner black men…It pisses me off when I see or hear of women like Dwayne’s ex-wife, who are that damn selfish to their children, in trying to keep them away from a loving father, now she’s the one on the outside looking in…I hope you continue to bond with your children, be the best father you can be, and also allow these children to be able to have that contact with their mother…Show her you can be a better person than she ever will be…

  • Gjulimusic

    Do it Dwayne….another DADDIO! Your blessings are the fact that you have been given these children to raise…..and that talent for playing a sport at your level. You’ve shown that you can keep your priorities squared away. You’ve also shown all that professional athletes don’t act a fool when it comes to thier children.
    Ride that wave bro…keep God first and that window will aways be open to you.