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Dwyane Wade Senior and a life of philanthropy: what lead to the creation of Pro Pops Foundation

With us in this episode we have philanthropist and mentor, Dwyane Wade Senior, sharing his motivational story on being a father in Chicago in the 1980s. With an alarming rate of gang violence and drug usage at the time, Dwyane tells us about the importance of a strong mentor's presence in the lives of the youth and its following positive effects. His own personal experience with quite literally running from different gangs and refusing their requests to join them lead him to create the predecessor of what is today the Pro Pops foundation. How important is the influence of a parent or mentor in the lives of the younger generation? How did Dwyane's determination and strong influence lead to the success of Dwyane Wade Junior, the former professional basketball player? Along with the answers to these question, this episode digs deeper into the life and growth of Dwyane Wade Junior from a father's perspective, while also covering the future plans of Pro Pops and the upcoming documentaries of the father and son during the 2020 All-Star Weekend.

What you'll hear about in this episode:

  • Dwyane raising and mentoring his children in Chicago (1:37)
  • Starting his organization for fathers and children (3:22)
  • Dwyane Wade Junior and basketball (4:33)
  • Talent vs. Mentality (14:37)
  • The influence of parents on their children's success (17:02)
  • What is Pro Pops and its creation (25:33)
  • The future of Pro Pops (31:00)
  • Dwyane Wade Senior and his plans for All Star Weekend 2020 (35:13)

Mentioned on the show:

Learn more about David Frangioni:

Learn more about Justin Leigh:

Transcript

David Frangioni 0:33

Hello, everybody, I'm David Frangioni. I'm here with my partner Justin Leigh on LIFE, L. I. F. E., Luxury in Full Effect. How's it going there, Justin?

Justin Leigh 0:42

I'm doing fantastic. How about you?

David Frangioni 0:44

Everything's great. Coast to coast here from Miami Beach to Beverly Hills. We're so excited because today, live from Miami, we have a dear friend of mine. An icon in the city of Miami and throughout the world. A philanthropist, a leader, a father, and an amazing person: Dwyane Wade Senior. Welcome to LIFE!

Dwyane Wade Senior 1:06

Thank you for having me, man. Thank you.

David Frangioni 1:08

So good to have you. So, let's jump in. You grew up in Chicago, right?

Dwyane Wade Senior 1:13

Yes, Chicago.

David Frangioni 1:14

Tell us about the early years of raising your son. Dwyane Wade is one of the most iconic basketball players in history. He retired last year from Miami Heat and is raising a family. Since you have other children besides Dwyane, what did the early years look like in terms of guiding, mentoring and growing up? I don't think it was easy for you in Chicago, right?

Dwyane Wade Senior 1:37

No, not at first. Chicago was a very difficult city. We were poor on the south side. I got the chance to raise my son because his mother was going through problems and hurdles that were hard to get over. Being able to raise him to be the man he has become has been incredible. As you said, we had a hard time in Chicago coming up, but it's smoother now. It was hard, but it was fair. It was a learning process. I think having my child living with me was something that I needed in the sense that it matured me and helped me grow. There were a lot of things going on like gang activity. I didn't want to be in a gang so I was running. That's how I started my organization, "Us the Kids and Kids for Us" way back in the day.

David Frangioni 2:28

You saw it firsthand.

Dwyane Wade Senior 2:30

Yeah. They used to be outside of the school waiting for me. I had to jump out of the windows, run through the engineers' room just to escape. I didn't want my children to grow up like that. I figured I didn't want my children to grow up like that and I didn't want other people's children to grow up like that. I started that organization to bring fathers and children back together.

David Frangioni 2:53

How old was Dwyane at this point when...

Dwyane Wade Senior 2:55

He was just born when I started the organization. It was 1982.

David Frangioni 2:58

Wow, he started it that long ago. So you were fighting through the streets of Chicago and decided to finally do something about it, even before opportunities arise due to Dwyane's career taking off. This was way before that.

Dwyane Wade Senior 3:14

Way before.

Justin Leigh 3:15

What were your first steps in starting the organization? What was the process? How did you say "okay, I want to start this"? What did it look like?

Dwyane Wade Senior 3:22

Basically, it started out with me taking all the neighborhood kids to the basketball court and playing in tournaments because we didn't have AAU back then. So it was just us riding in my little Burgundy station wagon a nd playing against each other in tournaments. It started from that and eventually turned into a mentoring program for the youth. I would tell them about what was going on in the streets and what we had to do to avoid it.

David Frangioni 3:53

That's incredible, when you think about it - Starting a new family now that you're trying to help all the kids, not just your own. Take us through the '80s and '90s. You are raising Dwyane and how many of your children in total?

Dwyane Wade Senior 4:07

In the process, I had a hand in raising 12. The idea was, when we were young, we were chasing different types of women. Some of them have children so you have to have a hand in raising their children. So I ended up raising 12 children along the way, but I only have three biological and Dwyane is the only son.

David Frangioni 4:26

Wow, your only son. When did you realize that he had a love for sports and basketball?

Dwyane Wade Senior 4:33

Well, I kind of pushed it in those days because coming up, I didn't play basketball. I played seven different sports and baseball was my sport. When I came back from the army in the '80s, everybody was playing basketball. Dwyane was a little kid and he was sitting on the side watching. It's what I wanted him to do. It's what I wanted the other boys in the family to do once they got to a certain age. When Dwyane was around 9 years old, he started playing basketball even though he wanted to play football. We gave him a chance at football, and he hit kind of hard one time and he was like, "Pops, I'm going to the gym. That's where I will stay."

David Frangioni 5:08

Yeah, Football - it's not subtle, that's for sure. Basketball isn't easy either. So you mentored him through multiple things at once because (1) you're trying to keep them good in school, (2) off the streets, and (3) he's got to develop the sport. That's almost three commitments at the same time. He was a very young man, and you also have your other children. You have got to keep everybody together. Where did the leadership come from?

Dwyane Wade Senior 5:38

I was in the military, so I came back with that military type of personality...

David Frangioni 5:44

Lead and take charge.

Dwyane Wade Senior 5:46

Just lead and take charge. I didn't want to see anything happening to my children because there's a different gang on each block. I set the rules: no hats, no earrings, no tattoos, and stay in the backyard. Those were my rules. So if I came home and they weren't in the backyard after school, it was going to be a problem. It started like that.

Justin Leigh 6:09

As you're telling the story, there's a tiny parallel here - my son is nine, and he is heavily into basketball now. Coincidentally, the team that he's on right now is called The Beverley Hills Heat. It's a little different. Let me ask you, what did it look like in the beginning when you wanted to push him into basketball? You knew that that was going to be a great foundation for him. What does the daily activity look like? Was he practicing every day? Was he in a league? How does it work?

Dwyane Wade Senior 6:46

Alright, so we started out by taking them out to the backyard. After that, when we got off work, we started taking them on Fridays - to this school called Whitney Young - and we would play outside. All the kids would come and play against us or play with us. When they grew to finally beat us, they decided they didn't want to play with us again. So went from the backyard to the high school, Whitney Young. They matured on the court and they had the nerve to say "I don't want to play with dad no more" but they always still have to play with me because they're not old enough to lead a backyard.

Justin Leigh 7:22

Of course. Is there a basketball hoop in the backyard?

Dwyane Wade Senior 7:24

Yes, I made a state of the art basketball hoop on top of the garage. The backyard wasn't that big. It was like the fences about right here and the grass area was over there and a grass area over there, and this is the garage and it's on top of that garage. We're not gonna play in the grass, we weren't going to move the fence, we're not going to play in the garage.

Justin Leigh 7:47

But if you can play in those conditions then that's probably the best foundation.

Dwyane Wade Senior 7:51

Yeah, it was like we wanted them to be so good at it that we would shovel the snow off the ground so they could play. They'd be out there playing until one or two in the morning. They put a little lamp out there so they could see. They'll plug it in from the house and play basketball all night. If it was raining, we were still on the court.

Justin Leigh 8:17

It just goes to show how important it is to provide a child with an activity that they can be a part of. It is the most important thing. Look at what you did  - you were able to dodge the gangs, dodge all the things that they potentially could have gotten into because of this. I mean, it's such an important thing for people to hear.

Dwyane Wade Senior 8:39

Yeah, and we had a neighbor that would call the police on us because her window was right next to the gate. She was in the next yard over and we were right next to her bedroom window playing. We would play so late so she called the police on us everyday. The police would come and tell us we had to stop. Then when they left, we went back out and started shooting again. We spent a lot of days out there missing meals, dinners and stuff because if they didn't do what I wanted them to do, they would have to stay out there. You can't go in until you complete what I want you to do. I want you to get it, I want you to hone your skills. You have to be better than everybody else and mostly better than me. If you're not better than me, you're not going to beat anybody else. That's how I felt about it.

David Frangioni 9:24

And what age is this now? What range?

Dwyane Wade Senior 9:27

So they were about 9, 10, 11 - somewhere around that age. I became their coach in grade school around 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade all the way.

David Frangioni 9:42

They're taking it seriously at that age. So you all are starting to really see that this is the future. It doesn't sound like it could be the future. This sounds like you're declaring this is the future.

Dwyane Wade Senior 9:55

Yeah, we had a dream. It was actually four boys in the house - [inaudible], Demetrius, Dwyane, and Darnell. So there were four boys in the house and we wanted all of them to go to the NBA. Demetrius was the best at the time. He's the oldest stepbrother, and he was the best. He set all kinds of records at Richards High School, which is the same school that Dwyane went to. Coming up fourth through eighth grade, we played in the Bulls tournaments. We played suburban against the city. Before we hit the suburbs, we were playing as the city going against suburbs. We moved to Robbins then we became suburbs going against the city. We still won championships in the Bulls stadium. Then one time we were beat really bad and I quit going to the stadium, but that's another story.

David Frangioni 10:46

So now through high school. Demetrius at the time...

Dwyane Wade Senior 10:51

Demetrius was the best. Now they're out of grade school.

David Frangioni 10:56

So out of middle school and now they're onto high school.

Dwyane Wade Senior 10:58

Yeah. In high school, Demetrius was soaring. After that, he goes off to the University of St. Louis. His girlfriend, at the time, came to visit him during the dead of the winter. On the way back, she had a bad accident. Demetrius left to be with her, so when he came back to university, he didn't have a scholarship anymore. That's probably why Demetrius didn't make it. Everything changed for Demetrius after that. I still remember before he went to college when he graduated from high school, we were at the actual ceremony when they were giving him awards, and Fitzgerald, his coach, was crying. I'm looking at him like, "why are you crying?" He said it was because he doesn't think he's gonna have another player like Demetrius. I was like, "Well you got Dwyane coming behind him." Then he says, "I just don't think it's gonna be another Demetrius." I was like, "okay, let's see." Dwyane turned out to be better, but Demetrius still holds a lot of records at their high school.

David Frangioni 12:03

So what advice did you have for Demetrius when he's going through that problem with his girlfriend? You're watching everything kind of collapse, quite frankly, right? That has to be heartbreaking.

Dwyane Wade Senior 12:13

At that time, by him being a college, he's on his own now. I would always tell him "when you get out of my house, you can do what you want." So I was kind of letting him be the man now, and he had to make his own decisions. I don't get into people's business, whether it's my kids or not. Like my son, I don't even get into his business. If anything happens with him, and someone asked me about it, I know nothing about that. You have to ask him, it's his life.

David Frangioni 12:38

Right. So once they left the house, if they asked for your guidance, you were always there. If they didn't, you didn't offer. That's a philosophy and I respect that.

Dwyane Wade Senior 12:47

They had to grow up and mature. They had to take on their own personalities, since they were so used to taking mine and using it. So now since they have the chance to take on their own personality, they can be the person they want to be. I want to see if you're going to be better than me, so I'm gonna let you do you.

David Frangioni 13:03

Then Dwyane graduates and goes off to college. Marquette, right?

Dwyane Wade Senior 13:06

Yeah. I'm gonna rewind a little bit on Dwyane because he was very quiet and very shy. He had to do everything I said because he was my only biological son. He sat on the bench a lot because when he would play, he would do the opposite of what I wanted him to do. So a lot of that time while he was playing, he just sat on the bench. But one time he went to this North Carolina tournament, he came off the bench and after that, never hit the bench again. He just soared. By his junior year, he was playing like he was a real baller and we started to see him developing as a ballplayer. Other people say earlier, but that's not true. In his junior year, he was being recruited by a lot of people. He was actually being recruited by DePaul, but DePaul wanted this other kid that was considered the best in Illinois at the time. He had already had a shoe contract in the eighth grade.

David Frangioni 14:10

Do we know his name?

Dwyane Wade Senior 14:12

I can't remember, it's been too long. He went to DePaul but got caught up in a rape case so he got kicked out. He never got to be famous. He was the kid that was ahead of Dwyane which is why DePaul wanted him. They stopped trying to recruit Dwyane once they got that kid which opened the door for Marquette to come in. They sealed the deal with Dwyane, and once again, I let Dwyane make his own choice.

Justin Leigh 14:37

It's interesting to hear this because I always say it's obviously a talent. You got to have the talent and a plan. But there's another mentality that comes along with that specific person that gets them to go to the next level. I'm sure you've seen that so many times. For some reason, there was the X-Factor, besides him being such a talented player, that allowed your son to go to where he went. Do you agree with that? Can you see that at a young age? You were saying that he was a shy kid on the bench at first then he suddenly found himself. I do think that there's an X factor that somebody gets and you just never know what it is until you start to see it flourish.

Dwyane Wade Senior 15:25

Yeah, that's definitely what happened with him. It took him a while, but it went from going to Marquette and red-shirting his first year. We talked about it and I told him, "you have to do what you have to do. It's only one year, you get to practice but you don't get to go on the road." I think that made him more determined to be a better ballplayer because he had to sit out there. He wore every jersey of all the top players in college at the time. He wanted to play defense against all the top players. So I think that red shirt year turned into the beast that we know today.

Justin Leigh 16:07

It clicked all of a sudden, whatever it is. You see it. It's amazing because my own story was watching my son who's been really into basketball. You see a bunch of games, then all of a sudden something clicks and you're like, "oh wow where was that two weeks ago?" It just sometimes clicks for them and you see it in motion.

Dwyane Wade Senior 16:29

I think, after 42 years of coaching, I look for whether it clicks every night or just sometimes. If they don't hone these skills, if they don't want to be better than the next person, that's when they start losing the love of the game and they don't know it. They're losing it because they're okay with that.

Justin Leigh 16:54

Yeah, you can be comfortable. You have to constantly push yourself.

David Frangioni 16:57

That's a coach's responsibility, as much as the parents. They're very parallel.

Dwyane Wade Senior 17:02

Yeah, but nowadays the parents are a little bit too aggressive. They want their children to be athletes. They have to let those kids play into the game, learn the game and learn what it takes to stay in the game, without the parents pushing, pushing, pushing. Sometimes they push too hard. Another thing I think that happens a lot is: there's too much AAU's going around. It's too much playing for these kids. If you notice, when a lot of these kids get to from college to the NBA level, they all have surgeries. Their body breaks down because of so much wear and tear as a kid playing so many hours of basketball and football. I think that we, as parents, need to back off our kids a little bit. Take them out of tournaments, strengthen them by working out, fixing the way they eat and stuff like that. It's okay for them to leave college and go to the league. So much wear and tear is what's tearing their bodies down. You see it a lot today where a lot of the rookies are hurt in the first year. They don't even get to play the first year because they are out for the whole first year.

David Frangioni 18:18

How did you avoid that?

Dwyane Wade Senior 18:20

Well, I think is like I say, the wear and tear from all of those years...

David Frangioni 18:25

But you avoided it...

Dwyane Wade Senior 18:27

Dwyane played AAU, but he didn't play as much as these kids are playing today.

David Frangioni 18:33

Was that conscious? Did you monitor that or just worked out that way?

Dwyane Wade Senior 18:38

It just worked out that way. I watched it flourish, and I watched it come about.

David Frangioni 18:42

So now you would advise - you don't just take every single game and every opportunity you can, you gotta balance that if you're going to do damage.

Dwyane Wade Senior 18:50

A lot of these kids don't know that they're not going to be athletes. Everybody wants to be an athlete. There are millions of kids that aren't going to be athletes. So we have to mentor these kids and teach them how to network with people that are going to be like them. That's going to be lawyers, doctors, trainers, and things like that. We can't constantly push them to that sport, because that's might not be what they're here to do.

Justin Leigh 19:12

Exactly, only 1% make it to the professional leagues. But besides that, the importance that it gives to the kids being on a team sport - the camaraderie and focus. I'd much rather see my son wanting to go out on the basketball court than playing video games. You know what I mean. I think that that helps so much along the way, especially in building their character.

Dwyane Wade Senior 19:40

There are so many smart kids today. Computers and social media have brought kids a long way. It's hard to say exactly what we should push them to do. I was one of those dads that pushed my son and told him that "This is what you're going to do. When you're 18 and out of my house, you can change it if you want to. While you're at my house and I'm paying the bills, you're going to do what I say." Parents are not like that today. A lot of the parents say, "I'm gonna let my kids do what they want to do. Do you want to play sports?" That's what they do, but I'm still old school and I think that we should push our kids in the direction that they need to go. They need help. They don't know what they're getting into.

David Frangioni 20:22

So you specifically honed Dwyane up until the time he goes to college - he's a basketball player. That's your profession. That's what you do. If you don't want to be one when you get to college, then don't be a basketball player. But up until now, you are a basketball player. That's focus and commitment. I don't see that very often in a lot of parents. I really don't. I see what you're talking about in the fact that parents today are just kind of... You're wearing a shirt today says WadeDifferent. I think a lot of parents are indifferent. They look at their kid and leave it to the kid to decide, but the fact is: kids can't decide. They're not ready to decide. If they do decide, how do they get the focus, regiment, and discipline that you taught your kids? They don't. I think that's the differentiating factor. You defined it for them. You gave them a game plan that they needed to follow within that definition. It's one thing to say you're going to be a basketball player. It's another thing to say "here's how we're going to do it" and you did it.

Dwyane Wade Senior 21:32

And I'm gonna work as hard as you are working to get you to that level. I'm gonna come home from work and take off my job performance. I'm gonna go in the backyard and work just as hard as you to get you to that next level. Discipline is everything.

David Frangioni 21:46

What Dwyane Wade has accomplished in sports and his career as a professional is about as high a level as you can possibly get. Certainly in the sport of basketball and worldwide. He goes to China where he's even bigger than he is here. I'm talking about a literal global phenomenon. It all really comes from this beginning. There's no Marquette, there's no Heat. There's no global phenomenon without what you're doing.

Justin Leigh 22:15

It's pretty amazing. I'm sure your son realizes that and appreciates that. It's very, very difficult. There is a whole different school of thought that has kind of transpired since the '80s. Where a lot of parents are like, "Oh I just want to let the kids figure out what they want to do." And I agree with you, you have to give them guidance. It was obvious that your son was athletic, to begin with, but pointing him in that right direction. There are two analogies that I always say: "if you don't tie the boat to the dock, it's going to drift off in a totally different direction." I think that that is such an important analogy to realize with your kids because you have that rope, you can give them a little bit of freedom to kind of float back and forth, but do not let them go too far out. I think that you have to recognize the talent in the kids so you can flourish.

Dwyane Wade Senior 23:13

Dwyane wasn't that great of an athlete coming up. He was a little bit lazy when it came to sports. He worked on his craft and became that athlete that you want to see. He wasn't that athlete at first. I can tell you he couldn't even jump over a quarter at one point. He was that lazy getting off the ground. So it took him a long time to learn to dunk. Then when he did get it, you could see his athletic ability connect.

Justin Leigh 23:42

That kind of says it all right there. What you did is absolutely incredible. It was you that persevered, had that ability to push him through and have the wherewithal to know where to go. You can be a good athlete, but you got to have that support system behind you. I guarantee your son knows and thanks you every single day for doing what you did. The life that he leads now is 100% attributed to you and what you did.

David Frangioni 24:15

It's true. I mean, he had to do the work, but at that age, you need guidance. Thank God he respected you and you imparted respect and camaraderie even if part of it was by fear and leading. Regardless, it was done in such a great way because it worked. When you look at your son, as a community leader like yourself, you still see that come through. A lot of guys get successful in a sport and they never look back and it just becomes about them. But you and your son have continued to do amazing things. I want to transition into that because a lot of people follow Dwyane Wade's career, but this is about you. Now we understand what you did for your son. He becomes Dwyane Wade - Miami Heat star and NBA superstar. Now your career - you take what you started to do in 82' when you were raising family awareness of staying away from bad things like gangs. Now it's on another level because your career has flourished. So let's take D. Wade Senior, and go back. You and I have been close friends for 10 years. I know you're doing charity, like the ones that you and I have done together in the last 10 years. Before that, bring us up to speed on what's your life looks like now? What are you doing with your charitable initiatives? I know you have a show. You've had multiple shows. Share with everybody what's happening.

Dwyane Wade Senior 25:51

As you know, Dave, Pro Pops is my heart. The Pro Pops Foundation.

David Frangioni 25:56

Every year, Father's Day. A lot of people don't know about this so go to the deep end on this.

Dwyane Wade Senior 26:00

Every year on Father's Day, we do a four day weekend. It consists of four sports, usually soccer, baseball, basketball, and football. I think the most important part of the organization is going back to our roots from 1982. We try to mentor these kids and let them know that everybody's not going to be an athlete. We educate them by adding four classrooms so that we can invite the lawyers, the doctors, the David Frangionis...

David Frangioni 26:30

Thank you, an honor to be a part of it...

Dwyane Wade Senior 26:32

We invite them to educate them about what it took for them to get to where they're at and why they chose the field that they're in. These kids need that. When I go into these schools and I assemble all these kids in the auditorium,  9 out of 10 kids don't have a father at home. It's surprising to see that number. I understand that number because I didn't have a father at home when I was growing up, either. Maybe that's why I was going through the struggles I was going through because there was nobody to support me.

David Frangioni 27:05

But you became such an amazing father without the model of having a father to look up to. Then you went to the military and came back and applied this leadership philosophy of, "Hey, I see now what I was missing, and what's needed. So I'm going to bring it to my own family", and now you're bringing it to thousands of other kids.

Dwyane Wade Senior 27:31

The key was to get other kids that didn't have fathers in their life, to reconnect with them. So that's where Pro Pops came from. It's about bringing father and children back together. Just recently, we received a Lifetime Achievement Award for having a hand in reconnecting over 100,000 families. Doing that in the schools, assembling the kids, and trying to find out which kids don't have two parents in the household. That's how it worked. We tried to do a bullying class, but it wasn't perceived by the school district the way we thought it would. That would have been another avenue to get the kids to understand that they have to graduate. A lot of kids are dropping out and they need to graduate they need to be smarter. I think one of the problems is that classes like wood shop and mechanic were taken away. We used to have that, but now they don't.

David Frangioni 28:42

Music, the band programs, all these things are huge. We almost took them for granted as kids. We used to have arts, cooking, photography classes. Back then we'd have to go into a dark room and develop the film. I loved my photography class. All of these different things. I was in every band that all of my schools offered. We need to do something about it. There's no doubt about it because that void will get filled by things far less healthy than what we're describing. It could be as bad as the streets or it could be unhealthy habits like extensive video game playing. The things that you're not going to get arrested for, but you're not helping yourself either. So these are all unhealthy outlets at different extremes. If you can have a child, in those formative years, finding inspiration and finding their passion, doing things such as photography, cooking, music, sports, it's huge. That's why I love doing the Pro Pops weekend. Growing up, my family consisted of just my brother, my parents, and I. Four-person family always felt like a small, but tight family. My mom and dad were together for 48 years. The only thing that broke them up was my dad dying on 96'. Then eight years later, my mom passed too. We were all very, very close, especially my mom and me. My dad was always there. I saw the first Pro Pops I did with you. I saw what you're describing where there was a lot of need for mentoring and guidance. You don't realize how huge it is as a kid. It's not until years later that someone either helped you out or you had a dad present, or you went through a lot of bad stuff to kind of figure it out. However it happened, it won't be until later that the child realized the importance. You're giving it to them before they even know they need it. It's a true blessing. I love it. So what's the future look like? You're gonna keep doing Pro Pops of course.

Dwyane Wade Senior 31:00

Yeah, Pro Pops in Miami just made its' 13 years.

David Frangioni 31:04

Congrats.

Dwyane Wade Senior 31:05

One of the things I love about Pro Pops weekend is not only the sports and educational classes, but the Father's Day baseball game. We do a nine inning baseball game. You know, I played baseball...

David Frangioni 31:17

So it was your sport....

Dwyane Wade Senior 31:18

Yeah, it was my sport, so we still do that today. We always encourage people to come out and be a part of that because that's something special to us on Father's Day every year. The outlook now is that we've started the podcast, WadeDifferent. It's in its second year, going onto its third year now.

David Frangioni 31:39

I can't believe it. It feels like yesterday to me. I remember when you told me you were doing it. You had "Take a Stand" before that, then you transitioned into WadeDifferent which is going onto its' third year. So where do people find WadeDifferent?

Dwyane Wade Senior 31:56

We're on YouTube. We're looking to take it to different heights. You know, you and I are into podcasting now. They have an award for podcasts, so get ready you might get nominated for an award in podcasting.

David Frangioni 32:12

I just hope people like what we're doing, that other stuff will come next. That's amazing. So Wade Different on YouTube.

Dwyane Wade Senior 32:22

Yeah, one word, WadeDifferent.

David Frangioni 32:26

So that's how people can find you right now. You have your show, you have Pro Pops. Are you bringing Pro Pops to other cities?

Dwyane Wade Senior 32:31

We are already connected in 12 cities. We've done as many as 12.

David Frangioni 32:38

So Miami's the home base, but it's in 12 other cities.

Dwyane Wade Senior 32:42

Yeah. We did my documentary last year during All Star Weekend. We wanted to produce it and release it this year All Star Weekend, but my son is released in his documentary so I don't want to step on his toe. Okay, so I pushed mine back.

David Frangioni 32:59

All right. So when does your son's documentary come out?

Dwyane Wade Senior 33:02

All Star Weekend in Chicago in February.

David Frangioni 33:07

Where do we see his documentary?

Dwyane Wade Senior 33:09

I'm not sure.

David Frangioni 33:10

Okay, so we'll see. I'm sure there won't be any secret as to where to find it. So D Wade Junior's documentary is coming out February 2020 and D Wade Senior's coming out later in 2020.

Dwyane Wade Senior 33:26

Yeah, I don't know if I should release this on here or not, but I'm actually not only doing the documentary. The documentary is pretty much 90% done. We just had to shoot some steel pitches in Chicago. We were going to do that right before All Star Weekend. I'm actually up for a Doctorate degree in Humanitarian.

David Frangioni 33:45

Oh, fantastic. So well deserved.

Dwyane Wade Senior 33:49

We were going to do that at All Star Weekend too, but we're going to move it back to April because they're coming to Miami and presenting. That's gonna be crazy. One of the major things I'm getting ready for now is, I'm going back to school in January. I'm attending FIU. I'm going into some acting classes and trying to produce. I'm getting ready to produce a movie about my life.

David Frangioni 34:19

Nice. So besides the documentary, you'll also be doing a movie. That's fantastic. Well, that'll be great. I'd love to see that, you'll be amazing at that. I have the honor and privilege of calling D. Wade Senior, our guest today, a very close friend. For 10 years, I've learned a lot from you. Now everyone understands why when you meet extraordinary people, it's nice to get inside and learn a little bit about what makes them extraordinary. It's our actions and our belief system put into actions that create the extraordinary. Words alone will only get you so far, and they're important. It's the actions that really take it to the finish line and create the heroes that we have, the inspirations that we have. You and your son fall into that category. You guys are heroes and inspirations.

Dwyane Wade Senior 35:13

Yeah man, thank you so much. I want you and the audience to know. If you can attend All Star Weekend, it's not always about going to the All Star game, the dunk contest. It's about connecting with the people around the All Star Weekend. We're doing All Star weekend in Chicago, my hometown. I've assembled a program for the Wade family since I get a chance to do something now that my son s out of the league. It's a similar program, a facade program. It's in Chicago All Star Weekend and we call it a prayer breakfast. We're going to refurbish small businesses in Chicago. It's a prayer breakfast, that's going to be a part of the facade program that gives back to the city of Chicago.

David Frangioni 36:01

Which day? The game's on a Sunday right?

Dwyane Wade Senior 36:06

Yeah, you always have to do your stuff before they do theirs. It's Thursday, February 13, the first day of All Star Weekend.  I'm doing a prayer breakfast from 8:30 am to 11:00 am at 19 E St. in Chicago, Illinois. Then I actually have a couple of more things on the banner too. I'm a part of "Fathers of Men of Professional Basketball Players." We're actually doing the event in my hometown, Robins, Illinois. That's going to be amazing. We have the WNBA players, NBA players, fathers and a host of mayors that are going to be a part of that. I'm looking forward to the absolutely beautiful All Star Weekend in Chicago. So come out, be a part of All Star Weekend and don't worry about going to the game. Just come out and see what else is going on around those games.

David Frangioni 36:54

It's truly beneficial to everyone. You're doing some great things and you're right those are the events and the moments that make the NBA great for everyone. It's bigger than just that game. Well, I hope everyone hears that and takes notes. Listen back, and take note of when and where this podcast will be airing prior to the game. So I'm David Frangioni. We're here with Justin Leigh on LIFE. L. I. F. E. Luxury In Full Effect. Our guest today is D. Wade Senior. Dwyane Wade Senior, thank you so much for being here today. I can't wait for Pro Pops 2020 in June in Miami, and all the amazing things that you have going on - your documentary and WadeDifferent on YouTube. Thanks for being here, my friend.

Dwyane Wade Senior 37:40

Thank you for having me. It's been a blessing man.

David Frangioni 37:42

Thank you. Alright everybody, until next time.

Luxury in Full Effect

The podcast where David and Justin interview those operating at the top of the luxury industry - including the entertainment, real estate, celebrity industries and everything in between!