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Dwyane Wade: All-Star Guard, All-Star Dad

Earlier this month, ABC News profiled Miami Heat star basketball player Dwyane Wade before the start of the NBA season. This time however, the high-flying Chicago native wasn’t showcasing his crafty moves on the court. Instead, Wade’s dedication to fatherhood was the centerpiece of the story.

While fans across the globe gleefully counted down the days leading up to the Christmas Day start of the NBA season as a gift, Dwyane Wade kept true to his Twitter bio line which I absolutely love: “I'm a father first and everything else after that” – and D-Wade’s devotion was hard to ignore in the ABC News clip.

What stood out to me was Wade’s unflinching pride about being a father, even under the tough circumstances that led him to becoming a single dad. Marrying his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn, the couple had two sons together, Zaire and Zion. After a bitter and very public divorce, Wade won sole custody of his boys back in March of this year. Fighting hard to remain in his children’s life, Wade proved that his sons were a top priority.

Along with Zaire and Zion, Wade’s nephew also lives with the hoops star full time. The ABC clip showed D-Wade and his family bonding via horseplay, but there are some ground rules and a focus on schoolwork that is also enforced with care. And while Wade’s hefty NBA contract is often fodder for discussion, he is clear in letting folks know that he’s much more than a sports millionaire. “It is not about the money I have or don't have," shared Wade. "It is about the time I am willing to sit down across the table from my kids and if they don't get something right, helping them get it right.”

Through various community programs and his own Wade’s World Foundation non-profit group, D-Wade takes time out to assist other fathers wishing to bridge the gap between themselves and their children. Another highlight from the news segment was that of Wade and his ex-wife’s willingness to co-parent, despite the media fallout from their divorce proceedings and emphasizing that his sons still needed their mother.

D-Wade is aggressive, brash and downright intense on the court, but away from the game the 29-year old gives off a serene calm – especially when talking about his dad duties with glowing pride. Although he can employ a dizzying catalog of spin moves and perform fearless drives to the basket, Dwyane Wade already hit the game-winning shot as far as fatherhood goes.

Father's Day Was Busy!

We joke around here at NFI that on Father's Day, like one of those blowout sales, "Everything must go, go, go!"

NFI honors Dwyane Wade with Fatherhood Award

The result of the NBA Championship Finals on Sunday may not have been what Dwyane Wade and his Miami Heat teammates had hoped for, but Dwyane Wade knows that there are more important things in life than championship rings – his two sons.

Dwyane Wade recently gained full custody of his young sons, Zaire and Zion. Despite the time constraints of being a professional athlete, Wade’s number one priority is being involved in his sons’ lives. It’s for his commitment to his sons that NFI is recognizing Dwyane Wade with a Fatherhood Award. (Click here to read the press release.)

In response to receiving the Fatherhood Award, Wade said, "I am so thrilled to be given this award, especially because it is in recognition of the most important thing in my life, my kids. Nothing in the world compares to the happiness that they bring me each and every day. I know that my biggest responsibility is to be there for them 100% and to demonstrate to other fathers that it is possible to be a strong male figure in your children's lives regardless of what else is going on in your life."

Congratulations to Dwyane Wade! Thanks for being a great role model of an involved, responsible, and committed father!

Update (9/16/11): On August 25th, at his Wade's World Weekend basketball camp, Dwyane Wade was presented with his Fatherhood Award by NFI president Roland C. Warren (photo).

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