Dwyane Wade: Basketball Star Turned Beacon of Fatherhood
In many ways, basketball superstar Dwyane Wade leads a double life. By day, the Miami Heat guard is an NBA legend, but by night, Wade is a single father to his two young sons and his nephew. Moms dropping their kids off at school didn’t know what to make of him at first.
“I was like one of the only dads,” Wade said. “Everybody was looking at me, it was kind of weird. They called me ‘Mr. Mom’ for a while.”
It’s an apt nickname for a man who is on a mission to bring back a bedrock U.S. value: family. Wade is reaching out to fathers and sons through community groups and his non-profit organization, Wade’s World Foundation, to combat the jaw-dropping statistic that 72 percent of African-American kids are being raised by a single parent, mostly women. Even President Obama has asked Wade to come on as a kind of ambassador-at-large for fatherhood.
He is also determined to let his kids know that despite a bruising three-year custody battle, they have two loving parents, a lesson he draws from his own fractured childhood.
“It is not about the money I have or don’t have,” Wade said. “It is about the time I am willing to sit down across the table from my kids and if they don’t get something right, helping them get it right.”