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“I Hate the Pain My Child Is In”: Distraught Dwyane Wade Shared Embracing His Daughter Zaya’s “Light” With Wife Gabrielle Union

Published 09/30/2022, 10:30 AM EDT

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NBA legend Dwyane Wade is arguably one of the best guards ever. He won three NBA titles with the Miami Heat over the course of his career. His performance in the 2006 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks is considered one of the best Finals performances ever. He led the Heat against the much-experienced Mavs to win the title and take home the Finals MVP award. Wade played his first 13 years in the league for the Heat. He then played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls for one year each before going back to Miami.

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Dwyane Wade then played two more seasons with the Heat before retiring. His final season in the league was a retirement tour as NBA fans cheered him on wherever he played. And his #3 jersey was subsequently retired by the Miami Heat. Last year, Wade released a photo memoir of his life and career sharing his memories with the fans.


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It helped the fans to see some of the unseen pictures of Wade and his family over the years. Then in November, he appeared on ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’ and discussed the book.

Dwyane Wade embraced his daughter 

During the show, Trevor Noah asked Dwyane Wade what helped him to be a better parent to his daughter Zaya Wade. The Heat legend stated that as a parent he wanted to have answers whenever his children came to him about something. But he admitted that he did not know everything and did not have many answers when Zaya came to him first.


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“And so at that moment, I had no answers. The only answer that I knew, and that I had, that this is my child. I love them and I hate the pain that my child is in, right? You know, seeing the pain of not being able to feel confident and comfortable in who you are.” Wade said. He continued, “And so immediately wants to hug and embrace and you see just delight. Like I see Zaya’s light.” 


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Zaya was born in 2007 to Wade and Siohvaughn Funches. The couple was divorced in 2010 and Wade was granted sole custody of his children. He then married actress Gabrielle Union in 2014, who he initially dated in 2008. Zaya came out as a transgender in 2020 when she was 12. D-Wade and Union have been very supportive of their daughter.

Zaya once had the opportunity to interview former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Zaya admitted that she was a bit nervous speaking to one of her idols.

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Written by:

Bagavathi Eswaran


One take at a time

Bagavathi Eswaran is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been playing the game of basketball for more than 20 years now and has also been following the NBA for more than 10 years. After not being able to go pro, this former college player decided to join the IT industry.
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Edited by:

Veer Badani