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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Wade and Diener continue youth literacy initiatives with second annual charity weekend

(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Travis Diener remembers a lot from the first installment of the Wade vs. Diener charity outing, which took place last July.

Nine months later on a phone call, he recalls raising money for youth literacy initiatives, running a girls’ basketball camp and hosting a tailgate party with friends and family.

But he took extra time to mention his win over former Marquette men’s basketball teammate and lifelong friend Dwyane Wade on the golf course.

“Easily,” is the word Diener used to describe his victory.

He elaborated.

“(Wade’s) not a good general manager,” Diener said. “There’s draft at the (party). And you draft teams and every group that enters the outing, you draft, and he just didn’t do a good job drafting.

“So not only is he individually horrible at golf, he didn’t draft well, so his collective team didn’t really have a chance.”

The win on the course was — for Diener — the perfect way to cap off the inaugural Wade vs. Diener weekend.

It is a 3-day charity event that aims to raise money for the Tragil Wade-Johnson Summer Reading Program, a foundation created by Wade that works to improve youth literacy rates in Milwaukee. Wade also recently donated $3 million to Marquette to help grow its youth literacy foundation as well as the men’s basketball program.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve understood even more the power of it (youth literacy), the importance of it, especially in an inner-city community,” Wade said last year ahead of the event.

“Being able to provide this for a community that doesn’t have resources was something that’s important to me. To encourage, to inform our youth on getting a better understanding and a deeper understanding on this world we live in.”

This summer, the two former Golden Eagle guards are running it back on June 15-17.

“You want to give back to try to give ways where these kids have the opportunity to get better and grow and develop,” Diener said. “It’s incredibly important for Dwyane, for myself and people that have been around the Milwaukee area for a long period of time, which I have.”

The event is set up the same as last year: it starts with a camp for youth girls basketball players, followed by a tailgate party later that night. Then on the final day, June 17, they’ll play an 18-hole round of golf.

“(The event) gives a chance for Dwyane to come back and spend a few days in Milwaukee,” Diener said. “To be around him and ultimately to raise awareness and raise money for children’s literacy throughout the southeastern Wisconsin area is something that’s dear to me but obviously very dear to Dwyane.

“It was a fun weekend last year and we thought ‘why not try it again and try to improve on some things and just keep making it better and better and just go from there?'”

The girls’ basketball camp will be held again at The Facility, a gym Diener owns just north of Milwaukee in Mequon.

Both Wade, who bought an ownership stake in WNBA team the Chicago Sky last year, and Diener, a father to three daughters, want to help the women’s game continue to grow.

“Last year’s camp was awesome. The girls had such a good time. And I only think that this year will be better,” Diener said. “And it’s just good to keep on growing this game, and giving these young girls and young hoopers a chance to get better and be around a guy like Dwyane. 

“Just giving them every opportunity to see greatness, to be around it, and so that they can grow their passion and love for the game.” 

Later that night will be the Tee Off Party. Last year, members from the 2003 Final Four Team were in attendance, which Diener said “is just in the works” of who will come this year.

And then it all culminates with the golf outing at North Shore Country Club. There, a winning group will have the opportunity to play with Wade and Diener.

“The 17th is always great competition between Dwyane and myself,” Diener said. “And everyone who’s involved in the golf outing gets a chance to be a part of the competition, hear the trash talk and just have a very fun-filled day.”

Diener said he might give Wade some pointers to help him, but it won’t matter.

“I expect a very similar result this year,” he said.

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.

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