Interview: Dwyane Wade on his Wade’s World Weekenda
NBA superstar and Chicago native Dwyane Wade is in town right now for his third annual Wade’s World Weekend. Today, Around Town intern D.L. Hopkins spoke with the Miami Heat shooting guard about the Wade’s World Foundation. The charity provides support to community-based orgs that promote education, health and social skills for children in at-risk situations. Friday 11–Sunday 13, Dwyane Wade will host a speaking engagement at his former elementary school, a youth summit, The Chicago’s Got Talent event at the Harris Theater and a back-to-school supplies giveaway. He's also hitting the town. Last night, he held a fund-raiser at Crimson Lounge, and Friday night he'll make an appearance at Vision. Yesterday, before the event’s official kickoff, he pledged $25,000 to the struggling Williams Leonard Library in Robbins, his old neighborhood. Read on to find out why he feels giving is so important and his take on possibly playing for the Chicago Bulls.
TOC: Why are you so committed to the foundation and giving back?
Dwyane Wade: My upbringing involves individuals who helped me along the way. I don’t think I would be here today without that support. I feel obligated to help my hometown. Though small, my contributions to the library are beneficial to many, especially the children of the disadvantaged area. They need the library as a resource to be better prepared and confident.
What will be your approach when addressing the issues of violence and education at the youth summit?
I’ll speak from firsthand experience and share personal stories about the decisions I made as a youth. I’ll also explain how those choices, good or bad, shaped me to become who I am.
Much of the fund-raising involves fun activities: a dinner cruise, swanky lounges and bowling to mention a few. Is it safe to say that D. Wade knows how to party?
[Laughs] You have to have a good combo. Sure, we want to bring awareness to the foundation. But at the same time, it’s a lot of hard work. So if we can have fun in the end, great!
The 2010 season hasn’t begun, but when it ends, your contract’s up. With the right wheeling and dealing, would you welcome the chance to suit up as a Chicago Bull?
It’s funny. For the past two years, I’ve heard so much talk about playing here. Although I am honored that many want me in Chicago, my focus and commitment right now is with the Heat.
Michael Jordan will be inducted into the Hall of Fame today. What’s your favorite MJ moment?
The shrugging of the shoulders after he hit his sixth three-pointer against the Portland Trailblazers in the 1992 Finals.
What do you love most about the city?
It’s a big city with a small-town feel. But, you can keep the winters and snow.