The father of two sons,Â Zaire (10) and Zion (4), willÂ write about his struggles ofÂ growing up on Chicago’s south side in a single-parent home to raisingÂ his own familyÂ as a single dad.
“For me, it was therapeutic to do this,” Wade told The Associated Press. “[…] I don’t have to share it with people, but I felt there was a need. So many people came up to me in the process, so many fathers, so many men came up to me to congratulate me and to ask me how, how I did it and why I believed I could do it.”
Wade will also give fans insight on his basketball career from his high schoolÂ and college days to being a part of the Heat’s Big Three and a member of the American Olympics team. He said he spent most of the offseason working on the book, which includes story lines that even those close to him don’t know.
The NBA championÂ was grantedÂ sole custody of his two sons in March 2011 after a nasty court battle with ex-wife Siohvaughn.
WadeÂ led a Fatherhood Heroes round table at this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend andÂ has been recognized by President Obama‘s Fatherhood & Mentoring Initiative.
His message of fatherhood– more importantly, Black fatherhood– comes at a crucial time in our nation’s history. With the ongoing case of Trayvon Martin, Wade believes his responsibility to guide hisÂ sons in aÂ system gunning for our Black menÂ is imperative.
“This hits home,” he said. “Last Christmas, all my oldest son wanted as a gift was hoodies. So when I heard about this a week ago, I thought of my sons. I’m speaking up because I feel it’s necessary that we get past the stereotypes of young, Black men and especially with our youth.”
“This is worldwide. We want to be part of it until justice is served.”
A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than BasketballÂ will be published by William Morrow of HarperCollins Publishers in September.