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Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. (born January 17, 1982, Chicago, Illinoismarker), nicknamed "Flash" or "D-Wade", is an Americanmarker professional basketball player who currently plays for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Wade was named 2006 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. Despite the unorthodox spelling, Wade's first name is pronounced as Dwayne. Wade has established himself as one of the most well-known and popular players in the league. He had the top selling jersey in the NBA for nearly two years, as he led the NBA in jersey sales from the 2005 NBA playoffs, until the mid-point of the 2006–07 season.

After entering the league as the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade was named to the All-Rookie team and the All-Star team the following five seasons. In his third season, Wade led the Miami Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history. He was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP as he helped lead the Heat to a 4–2 series win over the Dallas Mavericks. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States Men's Basketball team, commonly known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring, as they captured gold medal honors in Beijing, Chinamarker. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA Scoring Title.

Early life

Dwyane Wade was born in the South Sidemarker of Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker to Dwyane Sr. and Jolinda Wade . He cites one of his older sisters, Tragil, as the individual most responsible for his childhood upbringing and for steering him in the proper direction. His parents divorced and he lived with his father and stepmother in Robbins, Illinoismarker during his childhood. As a child growing up in the Chicago area Wade idolized former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, and has said he patterns his game after him.

Wade attended Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawnmarker, playing for the school's varsity basketball team. While he did not accrue much playing time during his sophomore year, his stepbrother, Demetris McDaniel, was the star of the team. Wade grew four inches in the summer before his junior year and saw an increase in playing time, averaging 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. The following year, Wade averaged 27.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while leading his team to a 24–5 record. It advanced to the title game of the Class AA Eisenhower Sectional. During this season he set school records for points (676) and steals (106) in a season.

Wade was recruited by only three college basketball teams (Marquette Universitymarker, Illinois State, and DePaul Universitymarker) due to academic problems.

College

Wade chose to play college basketball for Marquette Universitymarker in Milwaukeemarker. During Wade's freshman year at Marquette, he was ineligible to play with the men's team due to a violation of the NCAA's Proposition 48. Wade sought tutoring to improve his writing skills in order to regain eligibility. When Wade became eligible to play the following year (2001–2002), he led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 17.8 ppg, led the conference in steals at 2.47 per game, and accumulated averages of 6.6 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game. Marquette finished with a 26–7 record, the school's best record since the 1993–94 season. In 2002–03, Wade led Marquette in scoring again with 21.5 ppg, and Marquette won the school's first and only Conference USA championship with a 27–6 record. Wade then led the Golden Eagles to the Final Four, the school's first appearance in the Final Four since winning the 1977 national championship. After the season, he was named to the All-America First Team by the Associated Press; Wade is the first Marquette basketball player since 1978 to do so.

Wade's performance during the Midwest Regional Final of the 2003 NCAA Tournament was highly publicized by the national press. Against heavily favored, top-ranked and top-seeded Kentucky Wildcatsmarker, Wade recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. His triple double was the third in NCAA Tournament history. Wade's exceptional play helped lead Marquette over the Wildcats 83–69 and into the Final Four; Wade was named MVP of the Midwest Regional. Marquette finished the season ranked #6 in the AP poll, the school's highest ranking since the 1976–77 season. Wade's strong tournament play resulted in increased visibility in the national media and, consequently, a high draft projection. As a result, he elected to forgo his senior year at Marquette and enter the 2003 NBA draft.

On February 3, 2007, almost four years after playing in his final collegiate game, Marquette retired Wade's jersey at halftime of their game against Providencemarker. Although Marquette requires student-athletes to graduate prior to receiving jersey retirement honors, the University made a special exception for Wade based on his accomplishments since leaving Marquette.

NBA career

2003–04

Selected 5th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Wade quickly emerged as a productive player on a youthful Miami Heat team and averaged 16.2 points on 46.5% shooting with averages of 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Wade is one of only four Marquette University players to be drafted in the first round; his is the highest draft selection in school history. After a 5–15 start, the Heat would gradually improve and finish 42–40 to qualify for the NBA playoffs. He further distinguished himself with outstanding performances in the playoffs, particularly against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. In the end, however, Wade's successful rookie season was somewhat overshadowed by the success of fellow rookies Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, particularly the latter. Wade did earn unanimous selection to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie Team, and also finished third in rookie of the year voting (behind James and Anthony). He was ranked in the top five among rookies in several major statistical categories, including second in field goal percentage, second in steals, third in scoring, fourth in assists, and fourth in minutes played. In the playoffs Wade hit a game winning shot in Game 1 of the Heat's first round series against the New Orleans Hornets. The Heat won the series 4–3 and advanced to the second round to face the top-seeded and best record team in the NBA Indiana Pacers in a very entertaining series that almost pushed the 61 win Pacers to the edge, though Miami would eventually lose the series in six games. He became the fourth rookie since the shot clock era began to lead his team in scoring and assist average in the postseason.

2004–05

Before the 2004–05 season Shaquille O'Neal was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Heat. The following season, Miami improved by 17 games, from a 42–40 record in the 2003–04 season to an Eastern Conference-best 59–23 record in the 2004–05 season. The league's coaches selected Wade to be a reserve in the 2005 All-Star Game. He scored 14 points in 24 minutes of play.

In the first round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Wade averaged 26.3 points, 8.8 assists, and 6.0 rebounds while maintaining a 50% field-goal percentage as the Heat swept the New Jersey Nets. Wade continued his high level of play in the second round by averaging 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists per game as the Heat swept the Washington Wizards. The Heat's playoff run was stopped by the Detroit Pistons, the previous season's champions, in 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Wade scored 42 and 36 points in Games 2 and 3 respectively despite playing with sinusitis, the flu, and a knee strain. He also suffered a strained rib muscle in Game 5 of the Conference Finals that prevented him from playing in the series' sixth game and limited him in the seventh. The Heat lost the series in the seventh game despite leading three games to two after the fifth game and holding a lead with three minutes remaining in Game 7.

2005–06

Wade at the free throw line
By the 2005–06 season Wade had developed into one of the most prominent players in the NBA and was elected to his second All-Star Game. In the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, Wade made the game winning put-back off of the Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson's missed shot, to lead the East to a 122–120 victory over the West. He scored 20 points on 9/11 field goals in 30 minutes of play. He finished the 2005–06 regular season averaging 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.95 steals per game.

Against the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Wade shook off a few injuries that scared Heat fans, including a severely bruised hip in Game 5. Returning late in the half, Wade resurrected his team by scoring 15 of his 28 points while suffering from intense pain, leading the Heat to the much-needed 3–2 series lead. After this, Wade successfully led his team to the 2006 NBA Finals, despite suffering from flu-like symptoms in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons. He put up a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists in that game, including an 8-point flurry to close out the third quarter that put the game out of reach.

2006 NBA Finals

In his first trip to the NBA Finals, in which Miami faced off against the Dallas Mavericks, Wade had some especially memorable moments. His performance in games three, four, and five, in which he scored 42, 36, and 43 points, respectively, helped bring the Heat back from a 0–2 deficit to lead the series at 3 games to 2. In Game 3 Wade tied his career playoff high with 42 points and grabbed a career high 13 rebounds. 15 of his 42 points came in the fourth quarter, in which the Heat erased a 13 point deficit over the final 6:34 with a 22–7 run which included a go-ahead jumper by NBA veteran Gary Payton that sealed the win. The Heat went on to win Game 6 behind Wade's 36 points, taking the series 4–2, and Wade was presented with the Finals MVP trophy. He became the fifth youngest player in NBA history to capture NBA Finals MVP honors and recorded the third highest scoring average by a player in his first NBA Finals with 34.7 points per game. His 33.8 PER in the NBA finals was ranked by ESPN's John Hollinger as the greatest Finals performance since the NBA-ABA merger. Ranking the greatest Finals performances: No. 1, espn.com, accessed June 12, 2008.

2006–07

In the 2006–07 season, Wade missed a total of 31 games due to injury. He was elected to his third straight All-Star Game and received All-NBA honors. He became the first guard to earn All-NBA honors after missing at least 31 games in a season since Pete Maravich of the Utah Jazz earned Second Team honors during the 1977–78 season. Despite Wade's play, the Heat struggled early in the season with injuries and were 20–25 on February 1, 2007. But with Shaquille O'Neal healthy and Pat Riley returning to the bench after undergoing hip and knee surgeries, the Heat seemed poised to surge into the second half of the season. However, during a game against the Houston Rockets on February 21, 2007, while attempting to steal the ball from Shane Battier, Wade dislocated his left shoulder and was assisted off the court in a wheelchair. After the injury he was left with the decision to either rehabilitate the shoulder or undergo season-ending surgery. Wade later announced that he would put off the surgery and rehabilitate his shoulder with the intention of rejoining the team in time for the playoffs. After missing 23 games to recover from the injury, Wade returned to the active roster in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Sporting a black sleeve to help protect his dislocated left shoulder, Wade played 27 minutes and recorded 12 points and 8 assists, in a 111–103 overtime loss. For the season, Wade averaged 27.4 points, 7.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game shooting 50% from the field, and finished the season as the NBA's leader in PER (Player rating).

In the playoffs, Wade averaged 23.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game, as the Heat were swept in the first round by the Chicago Bulls. Following the playoffs, Wade underwent a pair of successful surgeries to repair his dislocated left shoulder and left knee. The knee ailment, commonly called "jumper's knee," prevented Wade from joining USA Basketball in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament over the summer.

2007–08

After missing the Tournament of Americas Olympic Qualifiers over the summer, Miami's eight pre-season games and first seven regular season games to recover from off-season left knee and left shoulder surgeries, Wade made his first appearance of the 2007–08 season on November 14, 2007. Battling pain in his left knee throughout the season, Wade was elected to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game appearance. However, with the Heat holding the worst record in the NBA and Wade still experiencing problems in his left knee, Heat coach Pat Riley announced Wade would miss the final 21 games of the season to undergo OssaTron treatment on his left knee. Wade averaged 24.6 points, 6.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game for the season.

2008–09

After undergoing months of rehabilitation on his left knee and helping the U.S. Olympic team win a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, in which he led the team in scoring, Wade returned to the starting lineup at the start of the 2008–09 season. Early in the season, Wade became the second player in NBA history to tally at least 40 points, 10 assists and five blocked shots in a game since Alvan Adams did so in the 1976–77 season. With a healthy Wade leading the league in scoring and the Heat making a push for a playoff position, Wade was elected to his fifth consecutive All-Star game appearance.

Following the All-Star game, Wade recorded 50 points on 56.6% shooting and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a blow-out loss against the Orlando Magic. Wade became the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 50 points while his team lost by at least 20 in a game. The following game, Wade recorded a career-high 16 assists and added 31 points and 7 rebounds in a 103–91 win against the Detroit Pistons. Wade became the second player to record 15 or more assists after scoring at least 50 points since Wilt Chamberlain did so in 1968. Two games later, Wade tied a franchise record with 24 points in the fourth quarter, as he led the Heat back from a 15 point deficit in the final nine minutes of the quarter to secure a 120–115 win over the New York Knicks. For the game, Wade recorded 46 points on 55% field goal shooting, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Wade followed the performance with a second-consecutive 40-point game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Playing against his Eastern Conference rival and good friend, LeBron James, Wade registered 41 points on 53% shooting, 9 assists, 7 steals, 7 rebounds and one block as the Heat lost 107–100. The following game, in former teammate Shaquille O'Neal's return to Miami since being traded, Wade tied a career-high with 16 assists and added 35 points on 62% shooting, 6 rebounds, a steal and a block, as the Heat defeated the Phoenix Suns 135–129. Wade became the only player in Heat history to have multiple games with at least 30 points and 15 assists. Less than a week later, Wade tied his franchise record with his 78th consecutive game of scoring in double figures in a double overtime thriller against the Chicago Bulls, in which he scored the game-winning three-point basket to secure a 130–127 win. Wade finished with 48 points on 71.4% shooting, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks in 50 minutes. Wade joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only other player in NBA history to score that many points and have that many assists in a game, while having as high of a field goal percentage. Two games later, Wade surpassed Alonzo Mourning and became the Heat's all-time leading scorer in a triple overtime classic against the Utah Jazz. Wade finished with 50 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks in a 140–129 win.

During the season, Wade became the first player in NBA history to accumulate at least 2,000 points, 500 assists, 100 steals, and 100 blocks in a season and is the first player of 6 ft. 5 in. or shorter to register at least 100 blocks in a season. Wade also became just the fifth player in NBA History to reach 2,000 points, 500 assists, and 150 steals in a season. After a 97–92 win against the Charlotte Bobcats, Wade helped the Heat clinch a playoff berth and become only the second team in NBA History to reach the postseason after winning 15 or fewer games the year before. In a 122–105 win against the New York Knicks, Wade recorded a career high 55 points on 63% field goal shooting and added 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Wade recorded 50 points through three quarters and was pulled out of the game while he was one point shy of eclipsing the franchise record of 56 points set by Glen Rice. For the season, Wade averaged a league high 30.2 points per game, earning his first NBA Scoring Title, and added 7.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.

2009–10

In only his third game of the season Wade recorded his 10,000th career point in a 95–87 win against the Chicago Bulls. On the 12th November 2009 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade made a spectacular dunk over Anderson Varejao, considered by many to be one of the greatest of the season until that point. LeBron James himself described the dunk as "great, probably top 10 all-time".Two days later against the New Jersey Nets, with the Heat down by two in the final seconds, Wade hit a clutch three-point shot, giving the Heat the win.

United States national team

Wade was a member of the 2004 US Olympics team with fellow NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The team competed in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japanmarker, in which Wade averaged 19.3 points per game. The team won a bronze medal, which disappointed many USA fans who had hoped for a return to the days of the original "Dream Team".

Wade was named to the USA Men's Basketball National Team from 2006–2008. He was named co-captain of the 2006 team, along with James and Anthony.In 2007, due to injury, Wade was unable to compete at the Tournament of Americas Olympic Qualifiers, where the United States compiled a 10–0 record and qualified for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Chinamarker.

At the 2008 Olympics, the United States went unbeaten and earned gold medal honors, defeating the 2006 World Champion Spain in the final game. Wade led the team in scoring throughout the tournament and tallied a game high 27 points in 27 minutes on 75% field goal shooting and added 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds in the game. For the tournament, he averaged a team high 16 points in 18 minutes on 67% field goal shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2.3 steals, as the United States lived up to their Redeem Team moniker and captured gold medal honors for the first time since 2000.

Player profile

Wade plays the shooting guard position, but is also capable of playing point guard. On offense, he has established himself as one of the quickest and most difficult players to guard in the NBA. Wade's signature one-two step allows him to dash past bigger defenders and occasionally get the extra foul shot. Wade is able to get to the free throw line consistently; he ranked first in free-throw attempts per 48 minutes in 2004–05 and again in the 2006–07 season. He has proven himself an unselfish player, averaging 6.7 assists per game throughout his career. After winning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in 2006, Wade developed a reputation as one of the premier clutch players in the NBA. David Thorpe, an athletic trainer who runs a training center for NBA players in the offseason, also cites Wade's developing post up game as one of his strengths. "Watching Wade operate on the left block is literally like watching old footage of MJ (Michael Jordan)," comments Thorpe. Thorpe goes on to say that Wade's best moves from the post are his turnaround jump shot, double pivot, and what Thorpe terms as a "freeze fake", a pump fake Wade uses to get his opponent to jump, so that he can then drive around him to the basket. The main weakness cited in Wade's ability is his lack of three-point range; he has averaged .285 on three-point field goal attempts for his career. He is best known for his ability to convert difficult lay-ups, even after hard mid-air collisions with larger defenders. As crowd pleasing as his high-flying style of basketball may be, some have expressed concerns over the dangers of playing in this manner, as Wade has already hurt his knees and wrists after mid-air collisions with larger players. Wade has also established himself on defense for his ability to block shots and accumulate steals.

Off the court

Wade married his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches but filed for a divorce in 2007. He has two sons, Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade (February 4, 2002) and Zion Malachi Airamis Wade (May 29, 2007). dwyanewade.com It's a Boy!, May 29, 2007, accessed May 29, 2007.

* Trischitta, Linda. NBA Star Dwyane Wade, Wife Have a Son, May 29, 2007, accessed May 29, 2007. In February 2009, Wade sued his estranged wife and two of her lawyers over accusations that he had given her herpes through an extramarital affair and for alleging that he had abandoned his children.

Wade's nicknames include D-Wade and Flash, which was given to him by former teammate Shaquille O'Neal who would sing, "He's the greatest in the Universe," in reference to the Queen song of the same name from the 1980 film Flash Gordon. Wade is also a devout Christian and chose the number 3 because it represents the Holy Trinity. He tithes 10% of his salary to a church in Chicago.

The Heat's 2005 NBA Playoff run and Wade's performances with Shaquille O'Neal hampered by injury, led to an explosion of media attention and rapid increase in Wade's popularity. During those playoffs, Wade's jersey became the top selling jersey in the league and remained so for nearly two years. After the Heat's success and Wade's memorable performances during the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Wade was further elevated into the public's eye and appeared on several talk shows, including Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis and Kelly.

Wade has been featured in a number of magazine articles and publications. In 2005, he was featured on People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, and in 2006 he was named the NBA's best dressed player by GQ Magazine. In 2007, Esquire named him to their 4th annual Best Dressed Men in the World list for the second straight year.

Wade has endorsement deals with companies such as Gatorade, Lincoln, Staples, Sean John, T-Mobile (his TV commercials feature him paired with NBA legend Charles Barkley), and Topps. He had his own line of shoes with Converse named "The Wade" and a series of Sidekick phones known as the D-Wade Edition with T-Mobile. During the 2009-10 season, Wade switched from Converse to Nike's Jordan Brandmarker. Wade noted that the partnership ended on good terms, stating, "When I came into the NBA, I didn't have a lot of exposure and Converse gave me an opportunity to head a brand and be the face of a brand. I'm really thankful for six long, good years. I've gotten five shoes out of the deal and my dream came true at the Converse brand, because they put my name on a pair of sneakers."

Wade was hand-chosen by Michael Jordan and is scheduled to debut the Air Jordan 2010 next year during the NBA All-Star break.

Philanthropy

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 Chicagomarker and South Floridamarker. 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.

In May 2008, Wade purchased a church for his mother, a Baptist pastor in Chicago. Wade's mother, Jolinda, is a former drug user but has since abandoned that lifestyle and devoted her life to spreading the word of God. She is currently the co-pastor at the Temple of Praise, a ministry she conceived while still incarcerated.

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.

On September 9, 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.

NBA career statistics

Regular season

2003–04
Miami
61 56 34.9 .465 .302 .747 4.0 4.5 1.4 .6 16.2
2004–05
Miami
77 77 38.6 .478 .289 .762 5.2 6.8 1.6 1.1 24.1
2005–06
Miami
75 75 38.6 .495 .171 .783 5.7 6.7 2.0 .8 27.2
2006–07
Miami
51 50 37.9 .491 .266 .807 4.7 7.5 2.1 1.2 27.4
2007–08
Miami
51 49 38.3 .469 .286 .758 4.2 6.9 1.7 .7 24.6
2008–09
Miami
79 79 38.6 .491 .317 .765 5.0 7.5 2.2 1.3 30.2
Career
394 386 37.9 .483 .285 .772 4.9 6.7 1.8 .9 25.2
All-Star
5 4 25.2 .541 .250 .615 2.6 3.0 2.6 .6 15.2

Playoffs

2003–04
Miami
13 13 39.2 .455 .375 .787 4.0 5.6 1.3 .3 18.0
2004–05
Miami
14 14 40.8 .484 .100 .799 5.7 6.6 1.6 1.1 27.4
2005–06
Miami
23 23 41.7 .497 .378 .808 5.9 5.7 2.2 1.1 28.4
2006–07
Miami
4 4 40.5 .429 .000 .688 4.8 6.3 1.2 .5 23.5
2008–09
Miami
7 7 40.7 .439 .360 .862 5.0 5.3 .9 1.6 29.1
Career
61 61 40.8 .474 .327 .801 5.3 5.9 1.7 1.0 25.7

Awards and honors

  • NBA Champion: 2006
  • NBA Finals MVP: 2006
  • NBA Scoring Title: 2009
  • 5-time NBA All-Star: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • 4-time All-NBA:
* First Team: 2009
* Second Team: 2005, 2006
* Third Team: 2007
  • 2-time All-Defense:
* Second Team: 2005, 2009


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