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A FATHER FIRST by Dwyane Wade


How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball

by Dwyane Wade with Mim Eichler Rivas

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-213615-2
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

The smooth, composed memoir of a superstar NBA player juggling celebrity and fatherhood.

From the opening pages, Wade’s comforting narrative voice—assisted by co-author Rivas (co-author: Becoming Dr. Q, 2011, etc.)—draws readers in, as he provides recollections from his shy childhood in the 1980s, during which his drug-addicted mother shuffled him around the gang-addled streets of South Side Chicago. He was comforted by his loving grandmother and an obsession with basketball and Michael Jordan, as well as his older sister, Tragil, who shepherded her baby brother out of harm’s way. In school, Wade’s stepbrother dominated the varsity basketball games, but an early growth spurt and a string of expert coaches allowed Wade to shine and demonstrate his burgeoning abilities on the court. His star potential blossomed at Marquette University and eventually fostered NBA celebrity status as a guard for the Miami Heat. However, his marriage to high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches ended in a tumultuous 2007 divorce, and a custody battle for sons Zaire and Zion became ugly. The text seamlessly alternates between Wade’s rise to athletic fame and the aftermath of a 2011 decision to award him sole custody of his two sons, a legal decision eliciting both positive (stability for his boys) and negative ramifications (Funches’ vicious accusations and relentless interference). Wade capably demonstrates the power of hard work, faith, honest fatherhood and the dedication necessary to achieve happiness and harmony from hardscrabble beginnings.

A refreshing chronicle of a fervent sportsman with his head and heart in all the right places.