On the court Dwyane Wade is one of the most dangerous players in the NBA with his agility and ability to handle the ball and read the court better than almost anyone in the league. He has accomplished so much in just eight years into his career, winning many awards and given many honors along the way: NBA Champion; NBA Finals MVP; 7-time All-Star; 1-time Scoring Champion; and the NBA All-Star Game MVP. Dwyane Wade is one of the biggest role models on the court and his leadership has led to a winning way in Miami; but there is more to Dwyane Wade as a person. His philanthropy and care for others has solidified him as a hero off the court and one of the greatest role models in professional sports.
Since being drafted into the league by the Miami Heat in 2003, Wade and his family have been dedicated to supporting youth in his hometown of Chicago and South Florida. After being drafted 5th overall by the Heat and cracking the roster in his rookie season, Wade founded the Wade’s World Foundation in efforts to give back to not only his home community but to all underprivileged neighborhoods. Wade’s World Foundation is prominent in providing support to community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for children in at-risk situations and living conditions. Wade has also hosted free basketball camps in the Robbin, Illinois area for the last three years giving over 600 kids a chance to learn and play the game of basketball.
Dwyane’s heart reaches beyond his foundation. In December of 2008 he purchased a home for a South Florida woman whose home was accidentally burnt down by a family member. He not only bought the home, but provided the family with furniture and clothing. When he broke the Miami Heat single season scoring record, he gave his game worn jersey to a young boy whose hands and feet had recently been surgically removed. Wade is constantly visiting children’s hospitals where he delivers smiles and cheers amongst the children.
Dwyane credits seeing a celebrity visit a school on the TV when he was seven, wondering why no one ever came to visit his neighborhood. He vowed to come back to his community and give back if he ever made it big. Wade is more than just a basketball player and he will be the first to tell you that. His religion, faith and heart for giving makes him more than just an NBA superstar; but a role model for children and fathers young and old. Wade was presented with the 2011 National Fatherhood Initiative Fatherhood Award for his involvement in the lives of his two sons whom he recently gained custody of. Despite being a professional athlete and one of the league’s top stars, Wade has managed to be a crucial part of his kids lives and in turn a great model for fathers.
Wade’s work has not gone unnoticed. Like his achievements on the basketball court, he has received honors as the NBA Cares Award recipient for the 2010 off-season and was the Huffington Post’s ‘Number One Doer’ for his philanthropic work. His continuing support and care for the youth in Chicago and South Florida has in turn helped hundreds of children. In 2010, Wade joined former teammate Alonzo Mourning in founding the Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund and raised well over $800,000. As a part of his goal, Wade hopes to open a youth center in his home community of Chicago as his work continues to touch more young lives everywhere each and every day.
To learn more about Wade’s World Foundation, visit http://www.wadesworldfoundation.org/