In 2003, the Chicago-area native who also flashed his athletic brilliance for Marquette University joined the HEAT as the fifth pick of the 2003 NBA Draft. In 63 games, Dwyane averaged a solid 16.2 points in 35 minutes per game, and was one of the reasons the HEAT emerged as an unlikely #4 seed in the 2004 playoffs. His debut averages secured him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Team with the Miami HEAT.
Before he knew it, Dwyane was an Olympian, representing the United States in the 2004 Athens Summer Games and winning the GOLD representing the USA in the 2008 Olympics set in Beijing.
In 2006, Dwyane led his team to the city’s first ever NBA Championship and five years later, he helped them reach the 2011 NBA Finals.
With a similar meteoric rise in college, Dwyane catapulted Marquette to the 2003 Final Four. In two years at Marquette he became one of the most decorated players in school history where he averaged 19.7 points per game, had 150 steals and 79 blocked shots. That was upstaged only by Dwyane’s history making NCAA Tournament triple-double (against No. 1 ranked Kentucky) to take the Golden Eagles to the Final Four for the first time since 1977.
The first Marquette player since 1978 to earn Associated Press First Team All-America, a United States Basketball Writers First Team All-American and a National Association of Basketball Coaches Second Team All-American, Wade was a finalist for the Wooden, Naismith and Oscar Robertson awards. He burst onto the national radar when ESPN The Magazine nominated him in 2002 as Shooting Guard of the Year. Wade was the 2003 Conference USA Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year for what would be his last season in college.
From appearing in national TV campaigns to designing his signature WADE shoe and watch; Dwyane has quickly crossed over into the world of fashion and entertainment. Known for his charismatic personality and charm, Dwyane is one the most highly sought after celebrity endorsers. His portfolio includes Jordan Brand, T-Mobile, Pepperidge Farm, Hublot, The Collection and Gatorade.
Dwyane hopes to make a name for himself in the acting world too. In 2010, Dwyane made his acting debut with a cameo appearance in the film, Just Wright, starring Common and Queen Latifah.
Whether it’s being one of the first athletes sitting front row at the Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks, to posing for the cover of GQ Magazine, Esquire, Men’s Health, Ocean Drive or ESPN the Magazine, to being named one of People’s Magazine top 50 Most Beautiful People, Dwyane recognizes his true accomplishments go far beyond the basketball court and fashion magazines. In 2004, Dwyane established the Wade’s World Foundation.
The Wade’s World Foundation’s mission is to provide support to various educational, health and family service programs, in particular those that benefit underserved communities. Every year since 2005, Dwyane has hosted the annual Dwyane Wade Basketball Camp, free of charge, for nearly 600 kids from the Robbins, IL area where he spent his formative years.
The foundation also hosts an annual Christmas party for 250 South Florida kids at a South Florida arcade and amusement park. Kids from local non-profit organizations and local church youth ministries are treated to lunch, games and contests with Dwyane and a teammate.
In 2006, Dwyane launched Wade’s World Weekend in the Chicago area to benefit local charities. The weekend consists of a Bowling Classic, Benefit Dinner, Talent Show and a Youth Summit.
Summer 2007, Wade partnered with former teammate Alonzo Mourning for the annual Zo’s Summer Groove fundraising event in Miami. He continued to partner with Mourning for 3 years. Dwyane continues to support Mourning’s initiatives and the local Miami community.
For the past four years, during the NBA All-Star Weekend, Dwyane hosts two charity events, one being a star-studded charity luncheon and the other a community effort based on need.
In March 2011, Dwyane become the first NBA player to be awarded sole custody of his children. In June 2011, Dwyane penned a transparent and heartwarming article for Newsweek titled “My Life as an NBA Superstar Single Dad”.
The National Fatherhood Initiative honored Dwyane, June 2011, with the Fatherhood Award for his dedication to his two sons. Dwyane also works closely with President Obama on the Fatherhood Task Force.
Dwyane Wade currently resides in Miami Beach with his sons, Zaire, 9 and Zion, 4.
OTHER GENERAL ACCOLADES
Named to Esquire’s Best Dressed Men in the World list for the second straight year (14th in 2007; 13th in 2006) Received 2007 Father of the Year Award from the National Father’s Day Committee during June 2007 Listed as 5th on Sports Business Daily list of 10 Most Marketable Athletes Listed as 7th on The Sporting News list of 10 Most Influential Black Sports Personalities
Named one of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People on May 9, 2005 Named Best Dressed NBA Player by GQ (following 2005-06 season) Top selling NBA jersey from May 2005 – January 2007; now has second-highest selling jersey Nominated for ESPY the last three years:
July 2005: received ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete July 2006: received ESPY for Best NBA Player July 2007: nominated in Best Play category
2006 NBA Finals MVP as HEAT captured 2006 Championship 2006 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year 2006 SI for Kids Athlete of the Year Four-time NBA All-Star (2005-08)
Three-time All-NBA selection (2005-07) No. 3 jersey retired by Marquette University on February 3, 2007 – the ninth basketball player so honored Member of the USA Olympic Team; won a gold medal in 2008 Named to The Sporting News’ NBA Good Guys List in July 2004 NBA Cares Community Assist Award recipient in August 2004 (with USA Basketball Olympic teammates) NBA Cares Community Assist Award recipient in August 2007 2009 Inducted into the Miami Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hall of Fame 2010 NBA All-Star MVP Huffington Post’s Number One “Featured Doer” for his philanthropy work (September 2010) Honorary Chair of the American Library Associations’s Library Card Sign-up Month (September 2010) NBA Cares Community Assist Award recipient for the entire 2010 offseason Named by Forbes Magazine as one of the Best-Dressed Athletes (December 2010) Named by Styleite.com as one of the 10 Best Dressed Sports Figures of the Year (December 2010) Named Sports Illustrated’s Number One Best Dressed Player in the NBA (March 2011)