This past Saturday, superstar guard Dwyane Wade of the NBA’s Miami Heat made an uncharacteristic trip to the DC area. Instead of his usual high-flying exploits in the Verizon Center facing off against the hometown Washington Wizards, Wade visited popular DC bookstore Politics and Prose to sign copies of his new book: A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball.
Wade was greeted by a hoard of fans lining Connecticut Avenue, many of whom seemed to lose sanity as he stepped out of his car.
A two-time NBA champion and former NBA Finals MVP, Wade recently won custody of his two sons Zaire and Zion which, as he explained to Vox, has affected his relationship with the game of basketball.
“Well, I love basketball,” Wade said, “but it’s not the most important thing in my life… my family is the most important thing in my life… When you’re young, you don’t really know that… I loved my kids, but they was at home. Until I lost them, and they wasn’t at home, did I realize how important they were to me. I changed and matured in that sense.”
A former attendee of Marquette University, Wade feels the book’s messages can also be applicable to college students. “I think some of my failures in life, obviously starting a family early, not really being ready, getting married too soon…it came back later and affected me and I had to go through the struggles of a divorce and a custody battle…At the point when you in college, continue to understand you have a lot to learn, don’t rush into any decisions…I had to learn from my own mistakes.”
Wade also had a few comments about the 2011-2012 Georgetown men’s basketball team, who he worked out with last year during the NBA lockout.
“Going in there playing with them, I felt they were gonna have a good year if they had leadership,” he explained. “I was proud to watch them play last year.”
“Even if they were in the same conference as Marquette,” he added jokingly.
He also added, “Just by going to work out with the guys, sitting down talking to them, hanging out with them, just telling them, ‘Listen, you guys got talent on this team, but you guys have to make sure you have leadership…and it seems like they bought into that this past year…And they had a good season, I was happy for them.”
As for the recent re-alignment of the Big East, highlighted by the departure of a pair of Georgetown rivals in Syracuse and Notre Dame, Wade humorously expressed a seemingly universal sentiment.
“I’m confused as what’s going on,” Wade said laughing, “I can’t follow the teams, I don’t know what’s going on no more…It’s crazy.”
Wade will be back in DC on December 4th, as he and the defending champion Miami Heat take a trip to the Verizon Center to face the Wizards.
Photos: Top picture courtesy of Dwyane Wade, book jacket courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers