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Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) reacts after an offensive foul was called against the Orlando Magic during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 18, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 91-81. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade will release a memoir focusing on his experience as a basketball player and father, his publisher announced Wednesday. The book will be titled A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball, and Wade will detail his experience as a single dad who in 2011 won sole custody of his two sons.
"As a child, I grew up with aspirations to one day be a professional basketball player, and I am living that dream every day as a proud member of the Miami HEAT," Wade said in a release from William Morrow, his publisher.
"However, the daily role I play in the lives of my two children is the single most significant undertaking of my life, and the job I take most seriously. While my basketball career has brought me many rewards – including an NBA Championship in 2006 and an Olympic Gold Medal in the 2008 Summer Games, my children are the two greatest gifts of my life."
Wade won custody of his sons Zaire, age 10, and Zion, age 5, in 2011 in what was likely a first for a superstar athlete. He divorced their mother, Siohvaughn Funches, in 2010 after the separated in 2007. The divorce proceedings spilled onto the tabloid pages when Funches filed a lawsuit against Wade alleging his relationship with actress Gabrielle Union had caused emotional distress for the two boys.
Embracing fatherhood has become a passion for Wade. He teamed up with President Barack Obama to support his Fatherhood & Mentoring Initiative, a national parenting program geared toward encouraging fathers to become more involved in the lives of their children.
"We are thrilled and honored to publish Dwyane’s book,” said Henry Ferris, Vice President and Executive Editor at William Morrow. "He has an extremely important story and message about the role of fathers in children’s lives. And his career in the NBA is also a phenomenal and exciting story."
Wade's book will also include details of his basketball career, spanning from his childhood days on playgrounds in Chicago to his Final Four appearance with Marquette University in 2003 and NBA Finals MVP with the Heat in 2006.
But we probably should not expect any bombshells about high profile teammates Shaquille O'Neal or LeBron James in the book. Wade's purpose is to encourage parents to take an active role in their children's lives and lead by example.