He may have banned her from the Heat's courtside seats thanks to her sass, but apparently Gabrielle Union is never far from Dwyane Wade's thoughts.

"She makes my eyes sparkle," the 2-time NBA champ told Oprah just hours after Miami's victory parade last Monday, adding that he really lights up seeing the actress love on his sons 10-year-old Zaire and 5-year-old Zion, of whom he has sole custody.

"The biggest time she makes my eyes sparkle is when Zaire comes home and homework is a little hard that day, he's stressing, and she go to the table with him, and she sits down until he gets it, he understands it," Wade said. "And at that time my heart is smiling a little bigger that day because I know her love is deeper than just me."

The pair, who reportedly met while co-hosting a SuperBowl party in 2007, have been Miami's hottest couple ever since. But it hasn't been easy: Wade's bitter divorce from his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches turned into an even more bitter 3-year custody battle, including a lawsuit against Union for "emotional distress." (It was shortly thrown out, with the "Bad Boys II" star admitting to Yahoo! that "taking the high road sucks.")

Wade said the foursome is growing closer all the time.

"We're family, and we're growing as a family every day. And I think that's the great thing about it. We have so much more room to improve as a family and it's awesome."

Altogether now: Awwwwwwww!

Watch a clip above, and then tune in for more from Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James Sunday night for the second in Oprah's two-part series with the Heat's big three. "Oprah's Next Chapter" airs at July 8 at 8 p.m. ET on OWN.

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Check out the couple at Dwayne Wade's 30th birthday party in January:
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
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