Zaire Wade, son of NBA legend and future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, was in Paris last weekend for the Basketball Africa League combine. The 20-year-old is looking to jumpstart his pro career after suffering a serious knee injury last March.
Now Zaire is hoping he has impressed scouts for teams in the BAL with the hopes that he can catch on with a team and live his dream of being a pro player. But are those dreams realistic, and how much of his opportunities are because of who his father is?
Is Dwyane Wade’s Son Zair Wade Good Enough For NBA?
Zaire was selected with the 10th pick in the 2021 NBA G League draft by the Salt Lake City Stars. The Stars are affiliated with the NBA’s Utah Jazz, where Dwyane is a minority owner. Do with that what you will.
In 12 games with the Stars before his injury, Zaire averaged less than two points per game on 26/18/66 shooting splits. Not great.
Timeline Of Zaire Wade’s Basketball Career
But let’s take a look at Zaire before he turned pro.
He played basketball at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago his freshman year on the freshman team. The next two years he played at American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida. He then transferred to famed Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles for his senior year.
Zaire wasn’t a four or five-star prospect with tons of offers, so he opted for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire for an additional year. At the end of this season, he was up to three-star ranking and received offers from DePaul, Nebraska, Rhode Island and Toledo.
He turned them down and decided to turn pro.
Given that mid-majors were the schools offering him deals, and lower-level mid-majors, maybe turning pro wasn’t the best option. If he went to one of these schools with a good development program (there aren’t many) how much better would he be? This would be his sophomore season.
Nonetheless he opted for the G league which is maybe the third-best league in the world behind the NBA and EuroLeague.
Now he’s hoping the BAL, which is not the same level as the G League, will give him a better shot. Dwyane thinks all Zaire needs is to get healthy and get a shot to show what he can do.
“I’m very proud of him, because it’s easy to give up when you’re on this journey, and a lot of doors have been shut, and you’ve been told ‘No, you’re not good enough,’” Dwyane said to ESPN this week.
“It was easy for him to quit, but this kid had doubled down on himself, and I love that as a father. It shows me about his character, so I’m proud of him.
“He hasn’t played in  months. He had to get healthy first, and then he’s been training — he’s got his trainer, Corey [Smith], here. He’s been just grinding, and it’s hard to grind not knowing where you’ll end up.
“I tell him all the time, there are people who point fingers, but this is another opportunity for him to showcase not just his talent, but his professionalism, his growth.”
No doubt Zaire continuing to reach for his dream shows what kind of person he is and his character. If you believe you can achieve something you try until it happens, or you determine it’s not possible.
Will it be possible for Zaire? Time will tell.