Wade into Dwyane's world
9 NOV 11 @ 04:02PM BY BRYN KAY
NORTHERN beaches sport stars Laura Enever and Mo’onia Gerrard got the chance to shoot hoops with basketball royalty on Wednesday, as Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade rolled into town for a Gatorade promotion tour.
Wade, who led the Heat to an NBA championship in 2006 while also being named as the most valuable player for that year’s finals series, first took in the sights of Manly last weekend before playing three-on-three basketball with some of Australia’s most high-profile athletes at the Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre.
When the Manly Daily asked the Sports Illustrated 2006 sportsman of the year how Manly compared to Miami’s famed South Beach, Wade was full of praise.
“It was a little different but I thought it was phenomenal,” he said.
“The people were so nice and so generous to us ... we came in and got some great pizza and some great pasta.
“Manly was great to us and that was my first stop when I touched down.”
Enever, a former world junior surfing champion, admitted she was better suited to the surf than the hard court, but said it was great to meet Wade and discuss with him his rise to fame as she looks to do the same in the senior surfing ranks.
“He’s a legend and it’s crazy to think I’m playing basketball with Dwyane Wade,” Enever, of North Narrabeen, said.
“I love the Miami Heat but I just have no basketball co-ordination at all. I was just running in circles thinking maybe I’ll get an intercept.”
Gerrard, of Narrabeen, was also impressed with Wade’s skills and said “guys like that are just born to be athletes”.
The Australian netball team representative said it was great to have a fellow northern beaches elite athlete at the event to share the occasion of meeting one of the world’s most popular and marketable athletes.
The promotion event was initially set to have basketball legend Michael Jordan joining Australia’s elite stars for the event.
But Wade agreed to replace the six-time NBA championship winner, who had to remain in the US while negotiations continue to take place over the pay-related dispute between players and team owners which has so far caused a lockout to this year’s NBA season.