‘Didn’t Feel I Was Known Enough’: Cade Cunningham Opens Up to Dwyane Wade About His Winning Obsession

Published 03/19/2021, 1:00 PM EDT
Mar 12, 2021; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) greets Baylor Bears head coach Scott Drew after a game at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports


The 2021 NCAA tournament is here and the excitement levels can hardly be contained. This where the best college teams in the country fight for the national championship, and this time, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are deemed as one of the favorites due to the heroics of freshman Cade Cunningham. 

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Cade Cunningham joined Oklahoma State upon graduating from Montverde Academy last year and has been nothing short of inspiring. The prolific guard has earned massive acclaim in such a short span and is touted to go as the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. 

But before that, Cunningham and the Cowboys have a shot at winning the NCAA Tournament after emerging as the #4 seed from the Midwest region. Cunningham recently connected with NBA legend Dwyane Wade, where he opened up on why he always plays with a chip on his shoulder.

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Mar 13, 2021; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) shoots against Texas Longhorns guard Matt Coleman III (2) during the first half at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

“I think it’s more like an opportunity to kind of to prove that even though they projected me as that, I still didn’t feel I was known enough,” Cunningham told Wade about handling the pressure of being the top-ranked draft prospect. 

“I still kind of felt people kind of sleep on me at the same time so having that name and I was excited for it and I was ready to be able to be on the college basketball stage so everybody could see,” he added. 

Cade Cunningham wants to lead the Oklahoma State Cowboys to NCAA glory

Cade Cunningham is obsessed with winning, and that’s a quality that every great athlete would possess. He is only a freshman at Oklahoma State but has been their leader on the court. The 19-year-old combo guard takes pride in the way he approaches the game and wants to win at any cost. 

“It’s something that I’ve grown up dreaming about. I mean, I always dreamed we were going to be at one seed just because I didn’t want to lose any games. But, we got the fourth seed now and I feel like I have something to prove. I kind of like having that chip on our shoulders. It definitely made us hungry, and that’s when we strive,” Cunningham told Wade about winning the NCAA Championship. 

“Winning this championship would mean everything honestly. Championships are immortal. You can never take a championship away from somebody. Forever you’ll be able to see that banner sitting up there and be able to say that you were a champion,” he further added. 

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Cade Cunningham just wants it as bad as every other top-ranked player in the nation. Be it Luka Garza or Jared Butler, all these players enter March Madness with one goal in mind. 

As for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, they play the#13 seed Liberty Flames in the first round. The Cowboys have never reached the regional semi-final game since 2005. Can Cade Cunningham overturn their woes? 

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DIVE DEEPER

Should Gonzaga Bulldogs’ Jalen Suggs Be #1 Pick In 2021 NBA Draft Ahead of Cade Cunningham?

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Arjun Athreya

1830 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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