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Extended Audio Sample A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball, by Dwyane Wade Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (112 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dwyane Wade Narrator: Prentice Onayem Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Dwyane Wade, the nine-time All-Star for the Miami Heat, has miraculously defied the odds throughout his career and his life. In 2006, in just his third season in the NBA, Dwyane was named the Finals’ MVP, after leading the Miami Heat to the Championship title, basketball’s ultimate prize. Two years later, after possible career-ending injuries, he again rose from the ashes of doubt to help win a gold medal for the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As co-captain, he helped lead the Heat to triumph in the 2012 NBA Championship. Little wonder that legendary coach Pat Riley has called Dwyane “B.I.W.”—Best In the World.

As incredible as those achievements have been, it’s off the court where Dwyane has sought his most cherished goal: being a good dad to his sons, Zaire and Zion, by playing a meaningful role in their lives. Recounting his fatherhood journey, Dwyane begins his story in March 2011 with the news that after a long, bitter custody battle, he has been awarded sole custody of his sons in a virtually unprecedented court decision. A Father First chronicles the lessons Dwyane has learned as a single dad from the moment of the judge’s ruling that instantly changed his life and the lives of his boys, and then back to the events in the past that shaped his dreams, prayers, and promises.

As the son of divorced parents determined to get along so that he and his sister Tragil could have loving relationships with both of them, Dwyane’s early years were spent on Chicago’s South Side. With poverty, violence, and drugs consuming the streets and their mom descending into addiction, Tragil made the heroic decision to take her younger brother to live with their father. After moving his household to suburban Robbins, Illinois, Dwyane Wade Sr. became Dwyane’s first basketball coach. While this period laid the groundwork for Dwyane’s later mission for fathers to take greater responsibility for their kids, he was also inspired by his mother’s miraculous victory over addiction and her gift for healing others. Both his mother and his father showed him that the unconditional love between parents and children is a powerful guiding force.

In A Father First, we meet the coaches, mentors, and teammates who played pivotal roles in Dwyane’s stunning basketball career—from his early days shooting hoops on the neighborhood courts in Chicago, to his rising stardom at Marquette University in Milwaukee, to his emergence as an unheralded draft pick by the Miami Heat. This book is a revealing, personal story of one of America’s top athletes, but it is also a call to action—from a man who had to fight to be in his children’s lives—that will show mothers and fathers how to step up and be parents themselves. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In this unforgettable, uplifting read, you’ll discover a fatherhood journey that reminds us all of the miraculous power of faith and family.” 

    Chris Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of The Pursuit of Happyness 

  • “People already know how amazing D-Wade is on the court. This book will show fans what an amazing person he is off it.”

    LeBron James

  • “With parenting, it’s never too late to lead. Dwayne’s own experiences as a child and those learned through adversity and leadership have protected his children through the storms.” 

    Pat Riley

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Elliott Florence | 1/5/2014

    " Great book. Dwade is my fav basketball player i look up to him so much because of this book. I like him. Book was great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Daphne Wheeler | 12/11/2013

    " Very enlightening & inspiring! I have a newfound respect for Mr. D Wade! What an AMAZING father & uncle!! =) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kaci | 8/21/2013

    " Not the most well-written book I have ever read, but definitely full of genuine emotion. D-Wade is definitely a stand-up guy and has a view of fatherhood which is to be admired. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nancy | 6/25/2013

    " Loved this book. I love how honest he is. He's such a strong person and a great father. I'm obsess with the Miami Heat team I'm a big fan and Wade is just an amazing person. "

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About the Author

Dwayne Wade is a professional basketball player and perennial all-star for the Miami Heat in the NBA. He has won two NBA championships and helped the United States earn a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics over the course of his sensational career. In A Father First Wade recounts his fatherhood journey and the painful custody battle he fought for sole custody of his children. A devout Christian and philanthropist, he founded the Wade’s World Foundation, an organization that promotes the education of children.