Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. (born January 17, 1982) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a successful college career at Marquette, Wade was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by Miami. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men’s basketball team, commonly known as the “Redeem Team”, in scoring, and helped them capture the gold medal. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA scoring title. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade helped guide Miami to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After 1½ seasons away from the Heat with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade was traded back to Miami in February 2018. A 12-time NBA All-Star, Wade is Miami’s all-time leader in points, games, assists and steals, shots made and shots taken.
Wade is well known for his philanthropic involvement in various organizations. In 2003, he founded The Wade’s World Foundation, which provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health, and social skills for children in at-risk situations. He hosts a variety of community outreach programs in Chicago and South Florida. In 2008, he announced his partnership with former teammate Alonzo Mourning’s charitable foundation and co-hosted ZO’s Summer Groove, an annual summer event. On December 24, 2008, Wade purchased a new home for a South Florida woman whose nephew accidentally burned down the family home. In addition, Wade donated some furnishings, clothing, and gifts to the family for the holiday.
After breaking his own Miami Heat single-season scoring record, Wade gave the jersey he wore in that night’s victory to 8-year-old Michael Stolzenberg, an avid Heat fan that had his hands and feet removed surgically due to a bacterial infection. Wade stated that he knew Stolzenberg previously and wished to add to his collection of Heat memorabilia. Wade has been known for visiting other sick children, usually in private to avoid placing himself in the media spotlight.
In September 2009, Wade donated money from his foundation to keep the Robbins, Illinois public library from having to shut down. He handed the library director Priscilla Coatney a $25,000 check in order to resurrect the building, which brought Coatney to tears. He called the donation a “small contribution”, and reminisced about the difficult experiences he faced as a child, stating that he sometimes did not know how he would find his next meal. In January 2010, Wade and Alonzo Mourning co-founded The Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti”, which raised money to help the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In the three days since the fund began soliciting donations from athletes, Wade announced that the “Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti” had already raised over $800,000. Wade stated, “I expected nothing less from my friends and colleagues in the sports community, our commitment to this cause knows no bounds, and we will continue to accept any and all donations throughout the days ahead.” Wade is also an avid supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and has served as an Ambassador for their Hoops for St. Jude basketball initiative.
Wade is a devout Christian and chose the number 3 throughout most of his career because it represents the Holy Trinity. He tithes 10% of his salary to a church in Chicago. His mother, Jolinda, strengthened her ties to Christianity in 2001 after years of drug abuse and dealing. She served as a minister during her final prison sentence in 2002 and 2003. She was ordained as a Baptist minister in January 2007 and formed the non-denominational Temple of Praise Binding and Loosing Ministry in Chicago. In May 2008, Wade purchased a church building for his mother’s ministry.
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