"His teachers came to me and said, 'What can we do to help him?' " Fitzgerald says. "Usually, with star players, the coach has to ask the teachers to give the kids a break. But we could all see how sincere he was about wanting to better himself through a college scholarship. We did everything we could to help him."
Dwyane Wade had the smarts and could back this up with being on the honor roll in high school, but missed the required ACT score by 1 point. Failing the test kept many larger programs from seriously recruiting him, so Dwyane's choices were becoming more and more limited.
Dwayne Wade's wife Siohvaughn, Darlene, and Tragil assisted him with his final selection of college which was chosen to be Marquette. Dwyane Wade then entered Marquette as an NCAA partial qualifier in 2000 after graduating from Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
Dwyane had to sit out his freshman year at Marquette because of his academic standing.
Due to the ACT short coming, Crean (Marquette basketball coach) went out to reach out, assuring Marquette's administration that he was well worth the risk of being the first partial qualifier in school history. In his freshman year, Wade practiced with the team and dressed for home games but couldn't play or travel.
Crean seen potential in Dwyane Wade and continuously rode him hard.
Dwyane quotes: "Coach was harder on me than anybody else," Wade says. "When we lost, he'd come in the locker room and blame me, say it was my fault because I hadn't practiced hard enough. He wanted me to be a leader so he forced me to tell the guys how I felt about their performances. I wanted to call home and say, 'I can't do this.' It made me stronger, made me really want it more."
"We never treated him as a guy who sat out. We kept him at the front of the bench, either taking stats or notes. We never let him say, 'Woe is me.' "
At Marquette Dwyane Wade chose to major in Broadcasting, since his agenda is to stay within the basketball field after he is done playing. This is the year we he proposed to Siohvaughn.
The following summer, Dwyane traveled to Europe to further work on his game. What a coincidence it was that Dwyane
played the traveling all-star team in Italy in the summer of 2001 for Bill Van Gundy who is the father of HEAT Head Coach Stan Van Gundy.
It was there he received the phone call that he was going to be a father.
Dwyane Wade faced another challenge that he would have to overcome. Becoming a father demanded a steady income and at the time he and his wife were living on limited resources. Perhaps this was the inspiration he needed.
When Dwyane Wade finally had the opportunity to play during his sophomore year and showcase his game, he immediately made waves. In fact, his play gained him significant recognition. Meanwhile, Siohvaughn remained in school throughout her pregnancy, and on February 4th , 2002, gave birth to a baby boy, Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade. They were married shortly thereafter.
"It gave something I'd been searching for all of my life," Wade says. "To have a person who believes in you so much and a child with a light in his eyes gave me the foundation I needed to flourish.
"My wife and son are invaluable to me. She inspires me, and our marriage has helped me mature and be responsible."
The following fall, Siohvaughn transferred to Marquette College, and watched as Dwyane emerged became one of the elite players in the country. His pure game earned him:
After his stunning performance in the NCAA tournament against Kentucky, in which he logged only the third triple-double in the tournament's storied history, Wade's stock soared. He was projected as a sure NBA draft lottery pick.
- AP All-American honors
- Conference-USA Player of the Year
- C-USA Defensive Player of the Year
Although it was hard to leave his school, his team, his friends, his coaches- Dwyane decided to forego his senior year at Marquette and enter the NBA draft. The Miami Heat took him in the first round, going 5th overall.