Dwayne Wade is a Two-Time NBA Champion, Eight-Time All-Star, and an Olympic Gold Medalist. But his greatest accomplishment is being a father.
In his book, A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball, Wade takes readers on a journey through his life. As a single dad with sole custody of his children, Wade realized that being a parent was more challenging than any opponent he ever faced on the basketball court. Because of this revelation, Wade has dedicated himself to sharing his fatherhood lessons with the world and encourages other parents to fully connect with their children and be the best parents they can be.
As a fellow member of the Goldfishsmiles parent panel, I was able to interview Wade about his life as an NBA All-Star and a dad.
Mocha Dad: How do you balance being a professional athlete with being a father?
Dwayne Wade: As an athlete, I find that keeping things on the court helps. When I come home, I’m not a basketball player, but “dad”.
MD: How do your kids cope with having a famous father?
Wade: While everyone sees me as an NBA player, to my boys, I’m just “dad” and that’s very important.
MD: How do you make sure that your kids remain level-headed and grounded?
Wade: I always remind my kids that hard work pays off, that’s how I got to where I am right now because of sacrifice and the work I put into it. They see that in their dad and it helps them stay grounded. They see that I take nothing for granted in life.
MD: How do you stay connected with your kids while you’re on the road?
Wade: We stay connected with daily phone calls and Skype. Our Skype conversations are some of the best!
MD: Would you want your kids to grow up to be professional athletes?
Wade: I would want my kids to grow up to be whatever they choose to be in life. There’s no pressure for them to become basketball players. My kids have many interests and I will support them in whatever road they choose.
MD: What are some of the most important things you’ve learned about fatherhood?
Wade: That my priority as a father should always remain first. My kids look to me as their example. Every decision I make and everything that I do always has to come back to the question, “Does this make me a better father?” “Will my kids benefit from this?” It’s no longer just about me…but about my kids. My perspective in life has changed. My life is bigger than basketball and being a father played a role in that.
MD: How do you spend quality time with your kids?
Wade: I spend quality time with my kids by incorporating things they enjoying doing…a lot of times – that’s going out in our driveway and shooting hoops.
MD: What is your funniest fatherhood memory thus far?
Wade: I have too many to list. But our recent trip to the city zoo and the ride on a camel was pretty funny.
MD: When you’re at home, do you cook for your kids? If so, what do you like to make?
Wade: I wish I could say that I am a great cook, but I do make them a pretty great grilled cheese sandwich.
MD: What advice would you give to new fathers?
Wade: To always be involved in your children’s lives. Life gets hectic but we have to find a way to always stay connected and let our kids know that they are loved.
MD: How do you want your kids to remember you?
Wade: As a father who leads and who is a positive role model for not just them, but the community as well.
MD: What can we do to get you to play for the Rockets?
Wade: Haha! See you at All Star Weekend in Houston.