By Judy Kurtz - 09/25/12 05:44 PM EDT
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade has played a pickup game of basketball with President Obama at the White House and hung out with Michelle Obama at an event for kids stressing the importance of play. So between the hoops-shooting commander in chief and the fitness-loving first lady, who’s got better game?
“Well, basketball-wise I’m going to go with our president,” Wade says with a big laugh. “But I think the first lady is so cool.”
ITK caught up with the NBA point guard ahead of a whirlwind trip to Washington over the weekend to sign copies of his first book, A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball.
In the tome, Wade details his experiences as a kid growing up in a single-parent home, as well as his life now raising his school-age sons, Zion and Zaire. The Heat co-captain won sole custody of his children following a lengthy court case with his ex-wife.
“When I went through this very public custody battle, I knew … the impact I made on fathers, the impact I made on certain parents, and giving them hope on their belief to fight and be in their kids’ lives … so I thought, you know what, I would share my experiences,” explains Wade.
The point guard, an Obama supporter, serves on the president’s Fatherhood Initiative campaign. He says of Obama, “I feel that he’s a very good role model and has been a great dad, especially with a very busy life. You talk about a dad who has to travel a lot and really do things with the country we live in but still be a dad his kids love and respect.”
Wade says he hasn’t “really followed” Mitt Romney and doesn’t “really know him as a person” to be able to comment on the GOP nominee. He says Obama has "done a good job. Everyone knows you can’t get stuff done in one term, not even two terms… hopefully we continue to give him another opportunity to even do a better job.”
Plus, the eight-time NBA All-Star, who played basketball with Obama in 2010, is up for a rematch. “I would love it. To play basketball with our president, that’s something that I never, ever thought would happen or could happen. But you know, there’s been some surreal moments in this life."
Asked whether he would ever leave the court and enter into the political ring himself, Wade replies, “I don’t think so.” He pauses and chuckles before adding, “But I’ve learned in life to never say never. But I don’t think my near future.”