Dwyane Wade

Basketball star Dwyane Wade plays as a guard for the Miami Heat, with which he has won three NBA Championships, in 2006, 2012 and 2013.


Known as "D-Wade" or "Flash," Dwyane Wade was born in 1982 in Chicago, Illinois. Wade has played for the Miami Heat, as a shooting guard, since 2003. He is a three-time NBA champion (2006, 2012 and 2013), all with the Miami Heat. In June 2012, Wade—along with power player LeBron James—helped the team to a 121-106 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in the fifth game of the NBA finals. The following year, he and the Heat clinched a second consecutive title – this time taking on the San Antonio Spurs. Among various honors, Dwade was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2004, and was named the 2006 NBA finals MVP and the 2010 NBA All-Star Game MVP.

Early Life

Professional basketball player Dwyane Tryone Wade Jr., known as "D-Wade" or "Flash," was born on January 17, 1982 in Chicago, Illinois. Shortly after his birth, Dwade's parents, Dwyane Sr. and Jolinda Wade, separated. His mother, Jolinda, was given custody of the two younger children, Wade and his 5-year-old sister, Tragil. The family struggled financially and was eventually forced to go on welfare. 

Wade's life took a turn for the better when, at 8 years old, he was tricked by his sister, Tragil; she told him they were going to the movies, but they instead went to a different South Side neighborhood. Tragil then returned to Chicago, and left Wade to stay with his father, who had re-married. The move changed the course of Wade's life, leading him away from the crime-ridden area he had lived with his mother.

A year later, Wade's father moved the family to Robbins, Illinois—a south Chicago suburb. Wade's new environment allowed him to play basketball outside with his stepbrothers, new friends and father, who coached part-time at a local recreational center. It was here that Wade attended Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn, where his older stepbrother Demetrius had already made a name for himself as the star of the basketball team.

Although he initially found more success as a wide receiver on the football team, Wade worked hard to earn regular time on the varsity basketball court during his junior year. After improving his ball-handling skills and outside game, as well as shooting up by nearly four inches—to more than 6 feet tall—Wade emerged as the basketball team's new star. During his junior year, he averaged 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, making a name for himself throughout Chicago. His success continued into his senior year—at that time, he was averaging 27 points and 11 rebounds per game. However, due to his poor grades, he was only recruited by three college basketball programs. Wade has stated that his high school coach, Jack Fitzgerald, was one of the most positive influences in his life during this time.

College Basketball Career

Wade chose to attend Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Although he was ineligible to play due to low academic scores, head coach Tom Crean took him on as a partial qualifier. This meant that although he had to sit out the 2000-01 season, he was still allowed to attend school and practice with the team. After taking the time to develop his skills even further, he emerged his sophomore year with an average of 17.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. The team's record that season was 26-7.

Wade's junior year, he led Marquette to the school's first Conference USA championship, and a return to the Final Four for the first time since 1977. He averaged 21.5 points per game, as the team's lead scorer. In the 2003 NCAA Midwest Regional Final, Wade recorded the fourth triple-double in NCAA tournament history. His 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats were publicized by the national press. Wade was even chosen as the MVP of the Midwest Regional Final. Unfortunately, his success ended in the Final Four, with a 94-61 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks.

NBA Career

Due to his newfound fame and success, Wade decided to forgo his senior year and instead enter the 2003 NBA draft. He was selected by the Miami Heat, and was picked fifth overall. Wade's first year with the Heat, he averaged 16.2 points, 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game, and was a unanimous selection to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie team. After Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Heat, Wade's numbers increased further, with a new average of 24.1 points and 6.8 assists per game. In the 2006, Wade gave an impressive performance in the NBA finals against the Dallas Mavericks. In the third game of the finals, he scored 42 points and made 13 rebounds, helping the Heat defeat the Mavericks for a close 98-96 win. His 36 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the sixth game earned him the honor of the NBA finals MVP.

After a series of operations to repair shoulder and knee injuries, Wade emerged for another strong season in 2008, arguably his best season ever with the Heat. Averaging 30.2 points per game, he earned his first NBA scoring title. In 2010, Wade became a free agent for the first time, but signed again with the Heat, joining new teammates Chris Bosh and LeBron James. The trio proved to be very strong during the 2010-11 season, and although the Miami Heat returned to the NBA finals again, the team lost in six games to the Dallas Mavericks.

In 2012, the Heat returned to the finals yet again, with a victory. They beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 121-106, in the fifth game of the series—Wade's second NBA Championship win, and the first for some of his teammates, including Chris Bosh and LeBron James. The following year, Wade was back in the finals, this time against the San Antonio Spurs. The Heat went on to take the title and gave Wade his third NBA Championship win. The Heat met the Spurs for a rematch in the 2014 NBA Finals, but this time a victory wasn't in the cards. The Spurs went on to win in five games. The following season, Wade missed playing in the post season after tending to a number of injuries. In 2016, back in action, Wade and the Heat made it to the playoffs.

Personal Life

Wade married his high school girlfriend, Siohvaughn Funches, with whom he has two sons, Zaire (born in 2001) and Zion (born in 2007). The couple divorced in 2007, and in 2011 Wade obtained full custody of both Zaire and Zion. Wade's upcoming memoir, A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball, documents his life as both a single dad and professional basketball player.

Wade married actress Gabrielle Union on August 30, 2014 in Miami.

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