Zaire Wade on playing pro basketball in Africa, teaming up with Hall of Fame dad Dwyane Wade in business


In early February 2023, Zaire Wade was celebrating his 21st birthday with friends and family. 

At one point during the day, he received a phone call that presented an opportunity for him to take the next step in his basketball journey. The African Basketball League’s Cape Town Tigers offered Zaire a contract for the 2023 season.

The son of NBA legend Dwyane Wade spent the 2021-22 season playing for the Salt Lake City Stars in the NBA G League. But he was ready to fully embrace the opportunity to play professional basketball on a different continent. 

“That was a crazy day. I wasn’t expecting a call that day,” Zaire told Fox News Digital. 

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Zaire Wade plays in a Cape Town Tigers game

Zaire Wade of the Cape Town Tigers shoots a free throw during a game against the SLAC April 27, 2023, at the Dr. Hassan Moustafa Sports Hall. (Julien Bacot/NBAE via Getty Images)

Tigers head coach Rasheed Hazzard and the rest of the organization were impressed by Wade’s showcase the prior month.

“We went to the combine a few weeks prior, and I knew I did my thing. And we had some in-person talks with a few teams, so I knew there was some interest, but nothing concrete until that day came. My dad and my trainer Coach Johnson were doing their due diligence behind the scenes…. and not letting me know too much (in the process). And once that day came, it was kind of a surprise. It was great, but I just knew it was time to just take that next step.”

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The 22-year-old Wade has faced injury setbacks throughout his basketball career. He attended three different high schools, ending his high school career at Los Angeles’ acclaimed Sierra Canyon High School for his senior season. 

Wade teamed up with top basketball prospects Brandon Boston, Bronny James and Ziaire Williams during his run at Sierra Canyon. Boston played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats and was later drafted in the second round and subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Williams was a top ten overall draft pick and is in his third season with the Memphis Grizzlies.

“It was kind of unfortunate … two consecutive years from Sierra (Canyon High School) and then obviously in the G League … my knee … and that one was a little more unfortunate because that was kind of after I was peaking a little bit after we played (G League) Ignite. I had a few good showings, and my knee kind of gave out on me on one play against South Bay (Lakers).”

Dwyane Wade and his son Zaire Wade

Former NBA player Dwyane Wade and his son Zaire Wade spend time on the court after a game between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Las Vegas Aces at Los Angeles Convention Center June 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

In July, during a training session with his teammates, James fell to the floor inside USC basketball’s home arena. The incoming freshman went into cardiac arrest. 

The James family later revealed doctors had attributed the sudden cardiac arrest to a congenital heart defect. Bronny has since returned to the court, with Thursday night’s home game against Utah marking his 17th appearance of the season.

Thorne is a wellness company that provides health tests and educational resources and offers supplemental health products. According to the company’s official website, Thorne seeks to “empower individuals to live healthier for longer through personalized, scientific testing and solutions.”

“It was great, it was my first time doing something like this,” Zaire told Fox News Digital when asked about the opportunity to team up with his father to help launch Thorne. 

Zaire Wade and Bronny James during a basketball game

Sierra Canyon School guard LeBron James Jr (0) and teammate Zaire Wade against Millennium High School during the 2019 Hoophall West basketball tournament at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., Dec. 7, 2019. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

“We always used to talk about how the future could hold us partnering up (on) something that would be beneficial to both of us. (Especially partnering on) something that we could use in our daily routines and our daily lives. (Dwyane Wade) was already on the Thorne family first. And once I was introduced to it, (there) was already kind of a natural connection there because I was already starting to look into it in my senior year.””

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Zaire said he leaped at the decision to team up with his basketball Hall of Fame father with relative ease.

“Once we saw there was an opportunity for both of us to partner with them … it was a no-brainier. It’s great to see how (my dad) approaches and takes business on.

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