(CBS) — On the heels of his personal tragedy, the murder of his first cousin, Bulls guard Dwyane Wade is taking a message of hope to young black men.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.
From the moment he walked in to cheers and applause, the new Bulls star kept it real.
“When I grew up it was all about gangs and drugs,” he told some 200 seniors from Urban Prep High School on Monday.
He shared his story to let them know he understands their struggles.
“My mom was addicted to everything, and that was hard for me as a young kid,” Wade recalled. “I would watch my mom shoot up.”
His thoughts as a young man, he said, were simple: “I can’t wait to get older to get my mom out of here. Isn’t that what you all think?”
Wade’s mom not only overcame her addiction, she’s a successful pastor. The two recently opened a community named after his grandmother. Still, the family’s success hasn’t excused them from the city’s violence. Wade’s first cousin was murdered over the summer.
“It’s tough,” Wade said. “When things hit close to home, it gets real.”
Acknowledging his cousin’s mom and his sister at the back of the room, Wade expressed the creed he and his family live by.
“We get knocked down, but we get back up,” he said.
“If he’s made it this far, why can’t we?” one student said.
Another message from Wade to the students: his promise to do his best on the basketball courts and use his voice and platform to make a difference in the city.