Dwyane Wade Recalls Letting Go of Dream Daughter Zaya Would 'Grow Up Hooping' with Other NBA Dads' Kids

"There's been a transition for the world, but for us, I see the same kid that I've seen since May 29, 2007," Wade said

Rich Fury/Getty Images
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Dwyane Wade is recalling how some of his expectations shifted after his daughter Zaya came out as transgender.

While appearing on the Club Shay Shay podcast, the former NBA player, 41, talked with host Shannon Sharpe about how he had to let go of wanting his daughter Zaya, 16, to become a basketball player after she came out as trans at the age of 12.

Discussing his daughter, Wade said to Sharpe that he believed fans would get the next generation of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony as the star players grew their families.

"I have Zaya. LeBron has Bryce. Melo has Kiyan. All within a 2-3 week span," Wade said. "All our kids gonna grow up hooping together. 'Oh we on! Boy we gonna have 3 babies! We on!'"

However, Wade said that after Zaya came out as trans, he had to give up his idea of having her become the next big basketball star in his family, adding, "See what happens when you start making plans for other people's lives?"

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Related: Zaya Wade Says Dad Dwyane Wade 'Inspires Me the Most' After Supporting Her Transition: 'Biggest Advocate'

Noting that it's now Zaya's journey to figure out what she wanted to do, the proud father said that, at the time, "You couldn't tell me that we wouldn't be on the circuit right now, baby! We hooping!"

"Then, I got to meet my child. And a lot of people like to talk about Zaya's transition, but to me, Zaya hasn't transitioned into anything," he said.

"She's but a kid, and now becoming a young adult," he continued. "I've watched her go through life. There hasn't been any transition for us."

"There's been a transition for the world, but for us, I see the same kid that I've seen since May 29, 2007. Nothing has changed," he concluded.

Wade shares daughter Zaya and son Zaire, 21, with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade. He also has son Xavier, 9, with Aja Metoyer, and shares his daughter Kaavia, 4, with wife Gabrielle Union, 50.

In August, Zaya spoke with Harper Bazaar for their Icons for 2023 series and said that her father influenced her the most. "My dad is who truly inspires me the most," she told the publication.

"Kids always tend to look up to their parents, but not only did I idolize him growing up and see him as a real person, I realize that he has played such an essential role in supporting me and the ways I choose to present myself to the world."

"He's been so supportive and my biggest advocate. He took the time and learned and grew. I want to have that same mentality going through anything in life," said Zaya.

"Coming out is such a big change. It's hard to navigate. We've all learned more about each other and the way we can coexist and grow together in this crazy world, especially in the public eye."

"It's like a spotlight is always on you. At the end of the day though, we are a family, and we support and love each other and we are grateful," she concluded.

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