Dwyane Wade is a three-time NBA champion, 13-time All-Star and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. Among all players throughout league history, he totaled the 35th-most points (23,165), 43rd-most assists (5,701) and 32nd-most steals (1,620).
Wade had a legendary career, and he’s a lock to become a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer once he’s eligible for induction in 2023. However, his career was nearly over before it even began.
“This is a game that I fought very hard to play," Wade told CBS News last week. "My mom went to jail when I was 9. My dad was in and out of jail. Growing up, I did not pass my ACT test to go to college. I had a baby in college. [There were] all these things that will stop you from reaching your goals, and I kept fighting. I kept fighting because it was my dream."
As Wade mentioned, his poor ACT scores nearly kept him from playing at the collegiate level. In his book, "A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball," Wade reveals that he dreamed of attending Michigan (since he was a fan of the Fab Five), but the program no longer had interest once officials saw his ACT scores.
"My first set of scores wasn’t bad; they were disastrous," Wade writes. "They sucked."
Marquette head coach Tom Crean continued to recruit Wade anyway. In fact, Crean told him that he had a place on the team even if he couldn't qualify academically — he just wouldn't be able to play in games or travel with the team. Crean was determined to get a commitment from Wade.
"[Crean said], ‘Look, here’s what we’re going to do. You’re coming here and we’ll stay with everything as planned. The only difference is you won’t be able to play in the games or travel. But you’ll do everything else. You’re on the team,'" Wade writes. "Later I found out that Coach C probably didn’t have the right to say that and he had to go back to the school to make sure that he could stand by that. No matter, I was sold all the same."