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Dwyane Wade: Chicago's violence is 'mind-blowing'

Updated: September 27, 2012 11:29AM



NBA star Dwyane Wade is all too familiar with Chicago’s violent streets.

In fact, the city native who grew up in nearby Robbins felt it hit home in March when his 20-year-old nephew, Darin Johnson, was randomly hit in a store shooting on the South Side. The irony: Wade has worked diligently to curb violence in Chicago.

Even though he spends much of his time in Miami playing for the Heat, Wade has returned to Chicago the past five years to support reading and literacy programs through his Wade’s World Foundation, which he hopes someday will help quell the violence.

But the very day he kicked off this year’s event — Thursday — 19 more people were shot.

“It’s indescribable,” Wade said of the spate of violence. “On one end, you feel lucky to make it, out and on the other end, you feel sad for all the people still in it and can’t get out. It’s just sad. And it doesn’t get as much light shed on it as other places. There’s so much violence that goes on in Chicago. I’ve seen, just like everyone else, that the City of Chicago has had more killings than Afghanistan. That is mind-blowing.”

Wade’s not sure what the answer is, but through the work of his foundation, he hopes to give other at-risk kids a chance.

“I think about me as a child and you look for a way to get out,” he said. “You look for somebody to help you get there. And that’s why I try to continue to reach my hand back so hopefully it can be a chain effect. If I reach my hand back, it will help someone, and that someone can help someone, and it will continue to go on.”



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