CHICAGO — Three-time NBA Champion and newest Chicago Bull, Dwyane Wade, told a group high school seniors Monday to “rise above” the struggles many of them face growing up in a city faced with growing violence.
The audience was 200 young black men who attend all three campuses of Chicago Urban Prep Academies. The school is bringing speakers in to commemorate its 10-year anniversary.
Wade, a shooting guard, joined the Bulls this season after a successful 13 years with the Miami Heat. Now in Chicago, he’s working with his Wade’s World Foundation to help bring positive change to his hometown. Telling the young men of his mother’s struggles with drugs and his run-ins with violence as a boy, he said they need to rise above.
“When things hit close to home. It gets real,” Wade said. “That’s my message to all of you in this room: You’re going to go through things, tough things that you don’t think anyone can understand, but God gives you the opportunity to wake up and step out of bed everyday. You have to do something with that.”
It’s a message that resonates with these young men, including Urban Prep Senior Desmond Cain.
“It was more inspirational because he was in the field with us,” Cain said. “He knows what we are going through and he can speak on something he’d been through.”
“I want to see and hear the success stories to come out of this room,” Wade told the boys. “I want you guys to be in a position I am one day to give back and change someone’s life.”