(Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
(The Root) -- On a recent humid Wednesday evening, 2011 NBA champion Dwyane Wade stepped out of a black Escalade onto Harlem's 116th Street. The Miami Heat baller -- dressed in blue denim jeans, sneakers and a snug color-block, long-sleeved shirt -- waved to fans who had lined the block to get a glimpse of their athletic hero and later hear him speak inside MIST Harlem, a new event space that hosted a pop-up format of the recently closed neighborhood mainstay, Hue-Man bookstore.
But his words weren't about his knack for converting nearly impossible lay-ups, his actress girlfriend Gabrielle Union or his teammates LeBron James or Chris Bosh. Wade was introducing his heartfelt memoir A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball, in which he chronicles his rise from Chicago's South Side to his current role as a single parent and role model. The hoops star-philanthropist, who also works with President Obama's Fatherhood Initiative campaign, said the project is his way of sharing that "if you're a father, be proud and understand that it's the greatest gift."
Wade had to fight earnestly for the opportunity to be with his two sons, Zaire and Zion. After divorcing Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, his high-school sweetheart and the children's mother, in 2010, he endured a bitter custody battle before gaining full custody the next year. At one point, Funches-Wade filed a $50,000 lawsuit against Union, claiming the actress had caused the children emotional distress. And in June, Wade's ex-wife's visitation rights were suspended when she was arrested for attempted child abduction. He sat down with The Root to talk about his writing process and how "there's never enough you can do" when it comes to encouraging others to reach their potential.
Read the full article on theroot.com.
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