As good a year as Dwyane Wade had on the basketball court, and despite falling just short of a championship it was a good one, he had an even better one as a father. How much better? It was good enough to receive the 2011 Fatherhood Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative organization. Among the reasons he was chosen was the work he does through his Dwyane Wade Foundation to help less fortunate youth in Miami and Chicago.
NFI president Roland C. Warren commended Wade, saying:
“This Fatherhood Award reflects Dwyane’s commitment to being the kind of dad his sons need him to be. He gives dads everywhere a great example of what it means to be an involved, responsible, and committed father.”
On being notified of the honor, Wade had this to say:
“I am so thrilled to be given this award, especially because it is in recognition of most important thing in my life, my kids. Nothing in the world compares to the happiness that they bring me each and every day. I know that my biggest responsibility is to be there for them 100% and to demonstrate to other fathers that it is possible to be a strong male figure in your children’s lives regardless of what else is going on in your life.“
A brief description of the Award handed out annually by the National Fatherhood Initiative is given on the website as:
Inaugurated in 1997, the Fatherhood Awards™ are presented each year to individuals, corporations, and organizations that make a substantial contribution to strengthening involved, responsible, and committed fatherhood.
Back in March Wade was awarded custody of his two sons, Zaire and Zion after a lengthy, public battle with his ex-wife Siohvaughn. Shortly after the ruling Wade spoke with the Associated Press on his desire to gain full custody since he and Siohvaughn divorced in 1997:
For me, it shows a lot of people that you need to fight to be in your kids’ lives sometimes. You fight until you can’t fight any more. That’s all I was trying to be, a father in his kids’ lives.
Three sentences that sum up exactly what Roland Warren and those at the NFI stand for. A class act all the way, and no objections from me on the selection for this year’s honor. Congratulations to Dwyane Wade on an award he just might cherish more than his NBA Finals MVP and championship ring from 2006.