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Dwyane Wade’s Journey to NBA: College Career, Drafts & More

Published 11/09/2020, 4:30 PM EST

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Prior to becoming an NBA legend, Dwyane Wade enjoyed an amazing college career. After having a tough childhood, Wade struggled in academics, but he was always good at basketball. However, despite his athletic prowess, only three colleges sent him offers due to his academic lapses.

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Wade then joined Marquette, only to be declared ineligible in his freshman season. So after working hard off the court, Wade was eligible to play in his sophomore year.

He averaged 17.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and a whopping 2.5 steals per game and led the Golden Eagles to 26 wins, their best record since 1994.


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But after this inspiring run, they ended up losing in the first round to Tulsa. It was a narrow 2-point loss, where Wade tried his best, but the team couldn’t rally behind him. Despite that loss, Wade made his presence known.

Dwyane Wade: Marquette hero

Determined to improve after the debacle the last time around, Wade led the team to an improved 27-6 win record in the 2002-03 season. His scoring became more lethal, as he averaged 21.5 points per game at 50% from the field.

Wade took the team to the Final 4 for the first time since 1977. He put in a monster 29 point triple-double as the Golden Eagles upset the number one team, Kentucky, with a 14 point win.


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Wade finished with a stat line of 29 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 1 steal, and 4 blocks. Subsequently, he was crowned MVP of the Midwest Regional Final.

Although they ended up losing their next game to Kansas in a blowout loss, Wade had established himself as one of the best college players in the country. So he chose to declare after that season and entered the 2003 NBA Draft.


From Marquette to Miami


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With the 5th pick of the draft, the Miami Heat drafted Wade. He helped them win a title in just his third season in the league and there began his legacy at South Beach.

In 2007, Marquette retired Wade’s number three jersey. He became the first player in college history to get his jersey retired without completing his graduation.

But Wade was a Marquette icon, so they made the exception for him. Despite not bringing them a title, Wade will be remembered as Marquette’s greatest player.


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Written by:

Aaron Mathew


One take at a time

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.
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