SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Neither father nor son could hold back the emotion last week.
After Zaire Wade, the son of future Hall of Famer and Utah Jazz part owner Dwyane Wade, was taken with the 10th overall pick of the G-League Draft by the Salt Lake City Stars, they both erupted in joy.
After playing for three high schools in three years, Zaire Wade did not receive any offers from any major college programs, so he decided to turn pro and try to make it to the NBA through the G-League.
Wade has had his share of critics. Some call it nepotism, the fact that he was drafted by the G-League team his father partially owns with the 10th overall pick, but Zaire is ignoring the haters.
“I think my biggest thing isn’t necessarily proving everybody else wrong, but proving myself right,” Zaire Wade said. “I know how hard I’ve worked over the past year, especially this summer, to be blessed to have this opportunity with the Stars.”
As a first hand witness to his father’s rise to stardom, Zaire wants to establish his own legacy, whether it’s on the court, or in fashion. He started his own clothing line, YnG DnA, and he has over two million followers on Instagram.
“I started when I was 16 years old, me and my friend Jalen Newsome,” Zaire said. “I didn’t ask my dad for any help or anything like that. We started off with 20 or 30 shirts and gave them out for free. We got a lot of feedback, and now it’s a thing. That’s really my biggest thing is making a name for myself as I’ve gotten older. Finding things that I can do outside of basketball.”
At 19, Wade is the youngest player on the Stars, by five years. He knows he has a lot of growing to do, both in his knowledge of the game and physically.
“I’m really liking the physicality, the speed change and all that that I quickly adjusted to,” he said. “But really just the mentorship from everybody. Players, coaches, they’ve all just kind of taken me under their wing.”
Wade and the Stars tip off the 2021-22 season November 5th at Oklahoma City.