Dwayne Wade didn't have it easy as a kid. His mom was a drug addict, consuming heroin and cocaine and young Dwayne was big enough to know it and suffer the consequences. When he was eight years old, his older sister decided to move Dwayne, and she dropped him off at his father's place. His father was the one who introduced him to basketball. This is what he said to Oprah:
There were many days when my mom left and we didn't know if she would come back. We all knew that she was, as my mom like to say now, that she was in her madness. We sat on the porch some nights, hoping that she would just walk around that corner. I dealt with that, but at the end of the day, I never gave up on her. I never blamed her. That was her life, her journey, her path. Without that path, I'm not who I am today.
So, I can overcome the loss of a championship, because I've seen a woman overcome almost losing her life; over and over and over again. Losing a Finals? It hurts. But I can get over it, and I can come back.
Usually, you hear stories that players bought their parents a car or a house. Taking care of your loved ones is a joy, especially for young athletes who very often come from poverty. Dwayne did something even better. He got his mom a church!
Jolinda Wade was a fugitive, skipping a prison term she was sentenced to serve in Illinois. One day her daughter, Tragil Wade, convinced Jolinda to go to church with her. That day she had a transformative experience and decided to turn herself in. Her faith helped her get clean from drugs and in 2008 her son provided for her parish by purchasing a church in Southside Chicago where she preaches to her congregatioItst's name is the Temple of Praise.
To sum it up, the best thing to do is to quote Dwayne from a story by Associated Press (via ESPN):
"My mother is not the kind of person who will come to me and ask me for this kind of favor. She's so thankful for even the little things I've done for her," Dwyane Wade said. "But it's the dream of every man, every boy, to be able to give their mother everything they want. So that was my dream and this is her dream. To me, that makes this perfect."
photo by Keith Allison