Dwyane Wade is currently battling for his second NBA title with the Voltron-formed Miami Heat. This season has been more than just the professional challenge of dealing with the flack of the “Big 3” joining up for DWade. He also was was awarded physical custody of his 2 sons. He recently shared his thoughts on being a “Superstar NBA single father with Newsweek:
I’ve had some ups and downs lately, but the memories of the unpleasant times disappear quickly, in part because of moments like the one recently when I was able to surprise my younger son, Zion, at his school with cupcakes for his fourth birthday. It was the day after we’d won the Eastern Conference finals, but that victory couldn’t compare with the huge smile on Zion’s face at that moment. I will never forget it. Bad memories vanish each morning when I walk into both of my sons’ bedrooms to wake them up for school—their laughter gives me all I need to face whatever is happening in my life. Not too long ago, due to custody issues, I wasn’t allowed to see my sons for long periods of time, or was given the chance to see them for only a few hours with no idea of if or when I’d see them again. I can’t describe how trying those days were, fighting for full custody while also working as a professional basketball player nine months of the year. I just knew I wanted to be with my kids.
I was seriously motivated to be a full-time parent for my sons. My mother and father weren’t together when I was a kid growing up in Chicago, and early on my mother fell victim to drug abuse. At 9 years old, I moved in with my father because my mother could no longer care for me. Looking back, I now see so many similarities between my own childhood and that of my sons. My father stepped in when I needed him, and that gave me the chance for a better life. That’s what I’m doing for my boys now.
All children need their fathers, but boys especially need fathers to teach them how to be men. I remember wanting that so badly before I went to live with my dad. I wanted someone to teach me how to tie a tie and walk the walk, things only a man can teach a boy.
I’ve gotten a lot of support from my mother, sister, and others in taking care of my boys and making their new living arrangements a smooth and happy transition. Going forward, I want my sons to have a healthy relationship with their mother, and that’s something we’re working on. I hope to have a great relationship with her one day too, because I know how much it meant to me to see my parents get along as time went on.
It is my opinion that something has to be really wrong for a judge to give full physical custody to a father. At the same time, I can’t say that it’s a bad thing. I think it’s great that there are fathers stepping up to take an active role in their children’s lives as the perception is that most (especially black athletes) don’t really care about “spreading their seeds” everywhere and being physically responsible for that choice (as opposed to just signing a child support check)
Also, interesting, in February, Dwyane’s girlfriend, Gabrielle Union was appointed to a special council by President Obama, now DWade has been appointed to a separate one. Power couple!
Wade was recently appointed by President Obama to a new parenting program geared toward encouraging fathers to become more involved in their children’s lives.