Tuesday, September 26, 2023 – NBA legend Dwyane Wade has opened up about the dreams he once had of his daughter Zaya following in his footsteps and becoming a basketball player.
Before Zaya, who is now 16, came out as transgender at age 12. Wade says he couldn’t imagine a world where they wouldn’t be “hooping” together.
But by letting Zaya make her own choices and grow into the person she wants to be, he got something better: to “meet his child.”
‘I have Zaya. LeBron has Bryce. Melo has Kiyan. All within a 2 to 3 week span,’ Wade told Shannon Sharpe on the Club Shay Shay podcast. ‘All our kids gonna grow up hooping together. “Oh we on! Boy we gonna have 3 babies! We on!”
‘You couldn’t tell me that we wouldn’t be on the circuit right now, baby! We hooping,’ he added.
Zaya came out as transgender at 12 and Wade, 41, said: ‘See what happens when you start making plans for other people’s lives?’
Zaya, 16, is the youngest of the retired NBA player’s two children from his first marriage to his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches. He also shares son Zaire, 21, with her.
Wade also has son Xavier, nine, with Aja Metoyer and a daughter Kaavia, four, with his wife Gabrielle Union, 50.
And he’s a proud dad who recognizes that Zaya’s life is her journey.
‘Then, I got to meet my child. And a lot of people like to talk about Zaya’s transition, but to me, Zaya hasn’t transitioned into anything,’ he said.
‘She’s but a kid, and now becoming a young adult,’ he continued. ‘I’ve watched her go through life. There hasn’t been any transition for us.
‘There’s been a transition for the world, but for us, I see the same kid that I’ve seen since May 29, 2007. Nothing has changed,’ he gushed.
And the feeling is mutual as Zaya looks up to her father, telling Harper’s Bazaar last month: ‘My dad is who truly inspires me the most.
‘Kids always tend to look up to their parents, but not only did I idolize him growing up and see him as a real person, I realize that he has played such an essential role in supporting me and the ways I choose to present myself to the world.’
‘He’s been so supportive and my biggest advocate. He took the time and learned and grew. I want to have that same mentality going through anything in life,’ she added.
And being the daughter of a famous dad and stepmom has given Zaya a platform to advocate for trans people.
‘Coming out is such a big change. It’s hard to navigate. We’ve all really learned more about each other and the way we can coexist and grow together in this crazy world, especially in the public eye,’ she said.
‘It’s like a spotlight is always on you. At the end of the day, though, we are a family, and we support and love each other and we are grateful,’ she concluded.