Photo source: Variety
One’s environment can shape a person. People raised in ghettos or other areas are at risk of falling into the same cycle of violence that they witness growing up. However, there are times when an individual takes a good look around them and decides, “This is not what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.” Dwayne Wade is a perfect example of someone who refused to fall into a repetitive cycle of poverty and crime and stands today as one of the most well-known basketball players not just in America but around the globe.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Dwayne Wade’s parents separated when he was only four months old. He lived with his sister and mother in the South Side of Chicago and occasionally visited their father. Wade and his sister grew close, and he often admired her commitment to the church and mental strength. When he turned eight, Wade’s sister took him with her to live with their father in the suburbs, far from the violence and stress that surrounded him before.
Living with his father and stepbrothers, Wade grew to love sports. He was especially fond of football and basketball. Despite his disinterest in playing professionally, Wade’s new family sparked a passion that drove him to develop his skill. Playing with his father’s team, Wade polished his in-game skills and intelligence under his stepbrother’s guidance. Although he was an average player, Dwayne Wade made up for it with how he read the game.
In high school, Dwayne Wade delved into football, where he excelled. However, despite the promise he showed on the field, Wade’s passion for basketball overshadowed the sport. He wanted to earn regular playtime on the court and made his resolve by working out the entire summer before his junior year.
During his junior year, Wade not only grew physically but also polished his technical skills. With his brother moving to college, Dwayne Wade became the emerging star and caught several scouts and coaches’ attention. While his game was unquestionable, Wade struggled academically. Scouts were aware of this and backed off from scholarship offers. However, Wade had some help from his high school’s assistant coach, convincing The University Marquette to take him.
While he was not allowed to play throughout his freshman year, Dwayne Wade still joined the practices and advised his team. Homesick for the action, Wade started studying extensively and managed to score good marks. In his sophomore year, he finally stepped in and immediately showed he was not behind in terms of form. Wade’s influence was vital as he helped the University win the Conference USA, NCAA tournament and led the team to the final four for the first time in more than twenty years.
Upon graduating, Wade was invited to the NBA draft, where Miami Heat got him in the first round as the fifth pick. In his first year, the young rookie played as if he was a professional all his life and would later be named to the All-Rookie first team. Although Heat was considered a weak team, Wade’s contribution played a significant role in their rise. His playstyle earned him the nickname “The Flash.”
Through the years, Dwayne Wade would earn several awards and win the NBA Championship thrice. Although he spent a couple of years with Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade’s home was in Miami Heat, where he returned and retired. To honor his achievements, Heat retired his No. 3 jersey.
Despite suffering injuries multiple times in his career, Wade ushered a golden era in Miami Heat. Although retired now, Wade and Miami Heat are synonymous as most people have come to agree that Dwayne Wade is Heat culture personified.