Dwayne Tyrone Wade, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois
on January 17th , 1982. Dwayne Wade's story began when shortly after his birth his parents, Dwyane Sr. and Jolinda Wade, were separated.
Dwayne Wade's mother Jolinda received custody of the younger two children, Dwyane and his 5 year older sister Tragil. Jolinda struggled and forced to be on welfare causing Wade and Tragil to bounce from place to place with their mother and her two daughters from a previous relationship (Deana & Keisha).
Dwyane Quote: "There were no birthday presents or Christmas gifts," Wade says. "You just didn't ever ask for what you wanted. It was my mission as a young kid to overcome being poor. I had so many dreams, so many aspirations."
When Dwyane Wade was 8 and Tragil was 13, she changed the course of his life by simply tricking him onto a bus ride. Instead of going to the movies as she'd promised him, she dropped him off at their father's home in another south side neighborhood.
Tragil returned to Chicago, but Dwyane stayed in Robbins with his father. His father had remarried, and Dwyane took a liking to his new home, new family, and new friends.
"It was two days before I realized she wasn't coming back," Wade says. "She was trying to get me away from the gangs and drugs, which was outside in our faces every day, right infront our mother's house. She didn't want me to get caught up in it."
Tragil stated: "We were raised to protect each other. It was a very stressful lifestyle with our mother. Our dad was with another lady, and he had three sons as well. I felt it would be better for Dwyane to be in that environment, with male role models."
The next year, Dwyane Sr. moved his family to a house in Robbins, Ill., a south Chicago suburb. "It was a rough suburb, but it was a big step up," Wade says. "You could be outside late at night and you wouldn't hear gunshots."
The new environment allowed Wade to play basketball with his stepbrothers and their friends, which included 9-year-old Siohvaughn Funches, who would later become his first and only serious girlfriend, and ultimately, his wife.
Siohvaughn was a year older than Dwyane, and when Dwyane reached high school, she noticed him immediately. They soon began dating, remained sweethearts through high school, and eventually would go to senior prom together. (Hint. Hint... Love & Basketball replay)
Dwyane's senior year of high school was difficult. Although he was dominating on the basketball court, which managed to earn him seventh place in Illinois' Mr. Basketball voting, his father Dwyane Wade Sr, and stepmother were having marital problems. To further complicate the situation, Dwayne Wade's wife Siohvaughn was away at Eastern Illinois completing her freshman year at college.
Dwyane couldn't use the phone at his house, so the only time he could talk to Siohvaughn was at her mothers / Darlene's, house. With all the turmoil at home, Siohvaughn's mother, Darlene, offered him a home to live in during his senior year.
An obstacle Dwyane Wade had to overcome, was that he was having difficulties meeting the academic requirements necessary to play basketball in college. He received help by getting tutored for the ACT by several schoolteachers, including Jack Fitzgerald (more on Jack Fitzgerald), the Richards High basketball coach.
"His teachers came to me and said:
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