Cover image for A father first : how my life became bigger than basketball
A father first : how my life became bigger than basketball
Wade, Dwyane, 1982-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2012]

Physical Description:
337 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
"NBA star Dwyane Wade discusses the rewarding responsibilities of being a single dad to his two sons, Zaire and Zion and highlights of his basketball career"--
Personal Subject:
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV884.W23 W34 2012 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GV884.W23 W34 2012 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV884.W23 W34 2012 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV884.W23 W34 2012 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat is one of the superstars of the NBA--and a Gold Medal winner at the Bejing Olympics--but he's A Father First. In this moving and triumphant memoir, Wade shares his inspiring thoughts about fathers and sons, writing poignantly about the gratifying responsibilities of being a single dad to his two sons, Zaire and Zion, while recounting his own growing up years and his memorable rise to the top echelon of professional basketball.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Wade is a two-time NBA champion and a perennial all-star, but lurking in the background of his most recent basketball accomplishments has been an ugly divorce. Wade's mother struggled with addiction when he was a child, and, as a result, he was raised by his father, who is the benchmark for Wade's fervent belief that a father can be a successful single parent. After his marriage fell apart, Wade set out to gain sole custody of his two children and eventually succeeded. This is part basketball memoir, but mostly it's a journey of contemplation and self-discovery. Wade looks back on the role his father played in his maturation, and he credits other male figures in his life, particularly coaches. He also discusses his involvement in Barack Obama's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, which encourages fathers to be more involved in the lives of their children. Unfortunately, as an instructional text on fatherhood, there's probably too much basketball here; and as a basketball memoir, there's too much fatherhood. Still, the book is heartfelt and well intentioned, and Wade's fame will drive demand.--Lukowsky, Wes Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 2011, Wade, a basketball superstar with the Miami Heat, won full custody of his two young sons in a much publicized battle with his high school sweetheart and ex-wife, Siohvaughn. Using the happy resolution as his starting point, Wade recalls his own life, returning to the courtroom ugliness and peppering the story with his observations on fatherhood. Forget about Wade's soft-focus parenting advice or the endless drama surrounding his deteriorating marriage and custody woes. Wade's frank examination of his childhood, most of which was spent in a Chicago neighborhood ruled by gangs and drugs, focuses the narrative. His mom, Jolinda, kept finding a new bottom due to almost insurmountable drug addiction. Wade's older sister, Tragil, swooped him out of the chaos, taking the eight-year-old to live with their disciplinarian, basketball-loving father. Recalling his younger days, Wade is honest and clear-eyed, whether it's describing his mother's destructive behavior, outlining his misguided reasons for starting a relationship with Siohvaughn, or describing the peace of backyard basketball. All things considered, Wade's narrative is inspirational, and his enthusiasm for life and parenthood is apparent. 16-page color insert. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Fans of Miami Heat superstar Wade know his inspiring life story. Now he's likely to gain more fans with this memoir in which he reflects on the path that led him to where he is today: not merely a successful pro ballplayer but, crucially, a father and an uncle with sole custody of sons Zaire and Zion and nephew Dahveon. He makes clear that he didn't get where he is simply by force of his own athletic and personal skills and shows how much he owes others. For example, his older sister Tragil looked fate in the eye and took eight-year-old Dwyane to live with his father, keeping him clear of almost inevitable drug or gang recruitment in the South Chicago neighborhood where he lived with his mother and older sisters. Wade's book, cowritten with Rivas (Beautiful Jim Key), alternates between journal-like entries from specific days over the course of 2011, in which he shares his lessons learned about fatherhood (essential: routine, seeing that each child is different, don't toot your own horn) and narrative recollections from boyhood through his high school relationship with girlfriend Siohvaughn, young fatherhood and marriage, and the collapse of that marriage as his NBA career strengthened. Wade tries to have it both ways: while acknowledging that "disparaging my sons' mother would be hurtful to them," his book presents many harsh (if honest) details about his marriage, its breakup, and the very long custody trial. Verdict Wade fans, contemporary memoir buffs, and most parents will find this compulsively readable and very worthwhile.-Margaret Heilbrun, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Homecomingp. 1
Part I
1 Go Get You a Gamep. 19
2 Prayers, Promises, and Dreamsp. 39
3 In the Backyardp. 64
Part II
4 Sanctuaryp. 87
5 HoopinÆp. 110
6 Marquettep. 132
7 Miraclesp. 159
Part III
8 Rookie Seasonp. 185
9 Mount Everestp. 224
10 Olympicsp. 258
11 Keeping Promises, Keeping Faithp. 294
Acknowledgmentsp. 331
Final Thoughts: Next Steps for Getting Involvedp. 335