MIAMI — Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat is becoming an author.
William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced Wednesday plans to release “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball” in September. The book talks in part about Wade’s struggles growing up in Chicago and how he’s incorporating some of the lessons he learned into raising his own family.
“For me, it was therapeutic to do this,” Wade told The Associated Press.
Wade was awarded sole custody of his two sons in March 2011 after a long court battle with his ex-wife, who remains in the boys’ lives. The 2006 NBA Finals MVP and eight-time All-Star said he hopes the book will show fans a side of him that they have yet to see.
“I don’t have to share it with people,” Wade said. “But I felt there was a need. So many people came up to me in this process, so many fathers, so many men came up to me to congratulate me and to ask me how, how I did it and why I believed I could do it.”
Although the book is about fatherhood, Wade said it also features much of his own childhood. Wade spent much of this past offseason working on the book, which he said will include some story lines that even people close to him do not know.
“We are thrilled and honored to publish Dwyane’s book,” Henry Ferris, a vice president and executive editor at William Morrow, said in a statement. “He has an extremely important story and message about the role of fathers in children’s lives. And his career in the NBA is also a phenomenal and exciting story.”
Last year, Wade was honored by the National Fatherhood Initiative, for his dedication to his two sons given the demands of being a professional athlete and single father. Earlier this season at All-Star Weekend in Orlando, Wade headlined a roundtable discussion that was part of President Barack Obama’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative.
Wade has had a fascination with writing for years. When he was in high school, he considered a journalism career and was a sportswriter for the school newspaper. He kept a journal during his college days at Marquette, has dabbled with poetry and once saw an ode to basketball that he wrote turned into an advertising campaign.
“I think the biggest thing when I set out to write a book was just to share my experiences, from when I was a kid, my upbringing, my struggles, my joyous times, to becoming a father,” Wade said. “I’m trying to compare them, how they’ve been the same in a sense, even though my worlds are totally different. But we’re still dealing with the same things. From rags to riches, it really doesn’t matter.”
Wade said he tried to open up as much as possible in the book, even though it was at times painful for him to relive certain memories. Because the book is not being released for several months, he did not divulge specifics.
“People will get a better understanding of me as a person,” Wade said. “Even people who might think they know all there is, there’s things you can learn about me that you don’t know. People know that in 2008 I had one of my best seasons, averaged 30 points a game, had some of my best games. But they don’t know what I had to deal with before tipoff or right after the game. It’s not focused on basketball, but it all wraps together and tells a story.”