His first name is pronounced /dwɛɪn/, the same as the more common spellings "Duane" and "Dwayne".
After entering the league as the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade was named to the All-Rookie team and the All-Star team the following nine seasons. In his third season, Wade helped lead the Miami Heat to their first NBA championship in franchise history. He was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP as he helped lead the Heat to a 4–2 series win over the Dallas Mavericks. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men's basketball team, commonly known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring, as they captured gold medal honors in Beijing, China. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA scoring title. He was part of Miami's second championship win in the 2012 NBA Finals, when Miami defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder. He won his third NBA championship in 2013, when the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals.
Early lifeDwyane Wade was born on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois to Dwyane, Sr. and Jolinda Wade. He cites one of his older sisters, Tragil, as the individual most responsible for his childhood upbringing and for steering him in the proper direction. His parents divorced and he lived with his father and stepmother in Robbins, Illinois during his childhood. As a child growing up in the Chicago area Wade idolized former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, and has said he patterns his game after him.
Wade attended Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn, playing for the school's varsity basketball team. While he did not acquire much playing time during his second year, his stepbrother, Demetris McDaniel, was the star of the team. Wade grew four inches in the summer before his junior year and saw an increase in playing time, averaging 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. The following year, Wade averaged 27.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while leading his team to a 24–5 record. It advanced to the title game of the Class AA Eisenhower Sectional. During this season he set school records for points (676) and steals (106) in a season. Wade was recruited by only three college basketball teams (Marquette University, Illinois State, and DePaul University) due to academic problems.
College careerWade chose to play college basketball for Tom Crean at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During Wade's freshman year at Marquette, he was ineligible to play with the men's team due to a violation of the NCAA's Proposition 48. Wade sought tutoring to improve his writing skills in order to regain eligibility. When Wade became eligible to play the following year (2001–2002), he led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 17.8 ppg, led the conference in steals at 2.47 per game, and accumulated averages of 6.6 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game. Marquette finished with a 26–7 record, the school's best record since the 1993–94 season. In 2002–03, Wade led Marquette in scoring again with 21.5 ppg, and Marquette won the school's first and only Conference USA championship with a 27–6 record. That season Wade led the Golden Eagles to the Final Four, the school's first appearance in the Final Four since winning the 1977 national championship. After the season, he was named to the All-America First Team by the Associated Press; Wade is the first Marquette basketball player since 1978 to do so.
Wade's performance during the Midwest Regional Final of the 2003 NCAA Tournament was highly publicized by the national press. Against heavily favored, top-ranked and top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats, Wade recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. His triple double was the fourth in NCAA Tournament history. Wade's exceptional play helped lead Marquette over the Wildcats 83–69 and into the Final Four; Wade was named MVP of the Midwest Regional. Marquette finished the season ranked No.6 in the AP poll, the school's highest ranking since the 1976–77 season. Wade's strong tournament play resulted in increased visibility in the national media and, consequently, a high draft projection. As a result, he elected to forgo his senior year at Marquette and enter the 2003 NBA draft. On February 3, 2007, almost four years after Wade played in his final collegiate game, Marquette retired his jersey at halftime of a game against Providence. Although Marquette requires student-athletes to graduate prior to receiving jersey retirement honors, the University made a special exception for Wade based on his accomplishments since leaving Marquette.
Rookie year (2003–04)Selected 5th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Wade quickly emerged as a productive player on a youthful Miami Heat team and averaged 16.2 points on 46.5% shooting with averages of 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Wade is one of only four Marquette University players to be drafted in the first round; his is the highest draft selection in school history. After a 5–15 start, the Heat would gradually improve and finish 42–40 to qualify for the NBA playoffs. He further distinguished himself with outstanding performances in the playoffs, particularly against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. In the end, however, Wade's successful rookie season was somewhat overshadowed by the success of fellow rookies Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Wade did earn unanimous selection to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie Team, and also finished third in rookie of the year voting (behind James and Anthony). He was ranked in the top five among rookies in several major statistical categories, including second in field goal percentage, second in steals, third in scoring, fourth in assists, and fourth in minutes played. In the playoffs Wade hit a game winning shot in Game 1 of the Heat's first round series against the New Orleans Hornets. The Heat won the series 4–3 and advanced to the second round to face the top-seeded and best record team in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers, in a very entertaining series that almost pushed the 61-win Pacers to the edge, though Miami would eventually lose the series in six games. He became the fourth rookie since the shot clock era began to lead his team in scoring and assist average in the postseason.
Breakthrough year (2004–05)The league's coaches selected Wade to be a reserve in the 2005 All-Star Game. He scored 14 points in 24 minutes of play.
In the first round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Wade averaged 26.3 points, 8.8 assists, and 6.0 rebounds while maintaining a 50% field-goal percentage as the Heat swept the New Jersey Nets. Wade continued his high level of play in the second round by averaging 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists per game as the Heat swept the Washington Wizards. The Heat's playoff run was stopped by the Detroit Pistons, the previous season's champions, in 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Wade scored 42 and 36 points in Games 2 and 3 respectively despite playing with sinusitis, the flu, and a knee strain. He also suffered a strained rib muscle in Game 5 of the Conference Finals that prevented him from playing in the series' sixth game and limited him in the seventh. The Heat lost the series in the seventh game despite leading three games to two after the fifth game and holding a lead with three minutes remaining in Game 7.