Dwyane Wade has earned plenty of accolades -- two NBA championships, NBA Finals MVP, Olympic gold medal, GQ's best dressed NBA player -- but one made him feel he had truly arrived.
He was at the White House for a fatherhood initiative, and President Obama was shaking people's hands. When he got to Wade, he exclaimed, "D-Wade!"
After hearing the president use his nickname, Wade said, "I walked away from it and thought, I made it."
The NBA superstar is in D.C. this week to promote his new book and speak on a panel about fatherhood as part of Congressional Black Caucus week. Wade says he's not involved in politics much, but has met Obama several times. "It's always a humbling experience and feeling, no matter how many times you see him," he told Yeas & Nays. "Where I come from, you never think you'll be able to meet the president and talk about anything."
Wade played on Obama's team during an informal basketball game of current and former stars in 2010. Asked what the president's strength on the court was, whether it was a jumper or sharp defense, Wade immediately replied, "Leader. He's a leader. He makes sure everyone's involved."
The president is also not immune to fashion, according to Wade. For his first visit to the White House, Wade put a lot of thought into his look, donning a rich burgundy tie (the color was "nice for meeting the president," he said) and a gray three-piece suit ("the three-piece gave it something special.")
"He made a comment on my outfit," Wade said modestly.
Wade will be signing copies of "A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball" at Politics & Prose on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.