To many Basketball stars, playing the sport professionally has always been a lifelong dream, but for three-time NBA champion, Dwyane Wade, professional Basketball was not only a lifelong dream, but his salvation and escape route out of a drug-addicted life and gang violence.
While at Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Law, Wade played basketball and continued to Marquette University, where he led the team to their first Final Four appearance in 25 years. He was subsequently drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003 and chose to leave Marquette during his senior year after an exception was made for him because universities usually required that a student complete graduation before retiring a jersey.
At the Miami Heat, he won three NBA championships; first in 2006, second in 2012, and third in 2013, and eventually announced his retirement from the NBA after the 2018-2019 season. His 16-year career in the NBA saw him earn $200 million in salary alone and $17 million annually in endorsements, according to CNBC,
Before retiring, Wade had a plan to bring in more money than he ever earned while playing in the NBA. He ventured into entrepreneurship, built some successful businesses, and keeps on pushing into new business areas after he retired.
He is the founder of the wine company, “Wade Cellars,” in partnership with the famed Napa Valley vintner Jayson Pahlmeyer. Wade’s Cellars portfolio now includes the flagship Wade Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Napa’s most iconic vineyards, and the Three by Wade wines, which offer an affordable entry to Rosé, Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from sustainable vineyards throughout California’s most respected wine regions.
Wade is also behind Proudly, a company that makes baby products. He co-founded the company with his wife, actor, Gabrielle Union. According to him, the company was influenced by the quest to find baby products for their three-year-old daughter.
“We have a 3-year-old daughter and going to 80 different stores to grab products. We said, ‘This doesn’t work for us,” he recalled in an interview with CNBC. ‘How can we build what works for us — the minorities in our world and communities?’”
Wade has also joined a list of athletes, current and retired, who have invested in sports teams across the world. He bought an ownership stake in Utah Jazz. According to him, he was influenced by ex-NBA stars like Shaquille O’Neal, Jordan, and Grant Hill, among others to own an NBA team.
Wade also has a stake in the media company, Players TV.