Dwyane Wade finds traces of his father in himself everyday. The Miami ‘Heat’ player and Olympian recently told Oprah Winfrey that the decisions he makes as a dad to Zion,5, and Zaire,10, are greatly influenced by the choices his dad made when raising him.
“It was done a little differently, but I did look at certain situations and the timing of a lot of it. It was kind of weird how some of the things that your parents did, you thought that you would never do and you didn’t want to do — it ended up being some of the similar things in our own life,” said the NBA star. “I think I do credit my dad for even giving me the confidence to even go and fight for custody in a sense, because he took me in when I was young.”
Wade gained full custody of his boys over two years ago and has used every moment of his career as a teachable one to his sons. “I’m the kind of guy that I always use my own experiences in life as a teacher. Not only for me, but when I talk to others I feel the best way to get through to them is sharing your experiences. Basketball can really teach you a lot about who you are. It can teach you a lot about life lessons as well. I do use basketball as a tool for my boys because they enjoy it,” said the Miami ‘Heat’ player.
Although Zion and Zaire enjoy basketball, Dwyane is not pushing them to be all-stars. As he explains, “I’m the kind of dad [who wants] them to be happy with whatever they choose in life — to do or to be. I’m not saying ‘You gotta play basketball!’ because I know how hard it is. I try to teach responsibility and I have to use the tools that’s in front of me. So right now the biggest tool I have to use is school. How they act at school — how they respect others, the grades that they bring in — everything about that is what I use as a tool to make them responsible, and understanding that you have to work for the things you want. Daddy will take care of the things that you need, but the things that you want you have to work for, and these are the criteria. Just trying slowly to start with that, and then we’ll move into other things.”
So what does the Olympic Gold Medalist want his children to do with their lives? “Whatever they want to do and whatever they feel comfortable and confident doing I’m going to support it, if it’s sports or if it’s not sports. I want them to respect me as their father, as the disciplinarian, but I also want them to communicate with me. I think the way that I feel that will help them out is them understanding that Daddy will be as open and honest with them as possible. Any questions they have, any situation comes up, I’m there.”
Photos: Washington Post