Dwyane Wade

2 mins read

Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. was born January 17, 1982 and is an American former professional basketball player.

Wade was born the second of two children to JoLinda and Dwyane Wade Sr. in Chicago, Illinois. Wade attributes the uncommon spelling of his and his father’s first name to his grandmother. JoLinda already had two children when she married Wade’s father, and with him she had Dwyane and his older sister Tragil. The pair separated when Wade was four months old. Wade described his early childhood in the South Side of Chicago as trying.

When his parents divorced, JoLinda was given custody of the two children. JoLinda struggled with drug addiction, and she was in and out of prison. At eight years old, Tragil tricked her brother into thinking they were going to the movies, only to take him to live with his father and stepmother. Wade visited his mother on occasion until his father moved the family to Robbins, Illinois, after which Wade would not see her for two years.

Wade turned to basketball and football, avoiding the temptations of drugs and gangs. Wade credited Tragil as the person most responsible for pointing him in the right direction.

Wade grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and modeled his game after him. On October 14, 2001, as Wade’s basketball career blossomed, JoLinda vowed to turn her life around. She says that she has not used drugs since 2003.

Wade played basketball and football for Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn. He immediately excelled as a wide receiver but success in basketball took longer. He grew four inches by the start of his junior year and emerged as the team leader. Wade was recruited to play basketball only by Marquette, Illinois State, and DePaul, due to academic issues. Wade committed to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to play under coach Tom Crean. In his freshman year, Wade was sidelined by NCAA Proposition 48, which set academic eligibility requirements for participation in Division I sports. Effort and tutoring sufficiently raised his academic standing so that he became eligible by the start of his sophomore year.

Selected fifth in the 2003 NBA draft by the Miami Heat, Wade became the highest ranked of only four Marquette first round draft picks. Wade quickly emerged as a productive player and served up outstanding postseason performances, particularly against the Indiana Pacers during the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Wade earned a unanimous selection to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie Team and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting (after LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony).

In July 2016, Wade joined his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, on a two-year deal worth approximately $47 million. Initially, the Heat offered a two-year, $20 million contract, before increasing it to a two-year, $40 million offer, both of which Wade felt were unacceptable. The relationship ended badly with Wade and the Heat squabbling.

On September 24, 2017, three months after trading Butler and waiving Rondo, the Bulls reached an agreement on a buyout with Wade. Three days later, Wade signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, reuniting him with Miami Heat teammate LeBron James.

On February 8, 2018, at the NBA trade deadline, the Cavaliers traded Wade back to the Miami Heat in exchange for a protected 2024 second-round draft pick. At the funeral of Wade’s long-time agent Henry Thomas in January, Wade mended relations with Riley (Miami Heat’s President).

In the off-season, Wade announced his intentions to retire after the 2018–19 season, re-signing with the Heat on September 18. On April 9, 2019, Wade played his last home game in Miami, scoring 30 points. On January 7, 2020, the Heat announced that Wade’s No. 3 jersey would be retired on February 22.