07/31/2013 03:47 pm ET Updated Jul 31, 2013

Dwyane Wade Custody Battle Heats Up As He Publishes Essay On Parenting


Just as Dwyane Wade's custody battle heats up, he's published an essay on the importance of embracing single parenthood.

In the piece, adapted from his book, "A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball" and published on CNN.com Wednesday, he shared his thoughts on being a single father to his sons Zaire and Zion.

"Fatherhood, to me, isn't something you do for awards or acclaim. It's a privilege and a huge responsibility," he said. "Of course, the recognition I've been given has been flattering -- except I don't think it makes sense to honor me for what I should be doing in the first place."

He went on to implore fathers who are not present in their children's lives to make a greater effort to spend time with their kids.

"For those men who are dads but not fully engaged as fathers, I want to urge you not to miss out on the greatest rewards and blessings that your children represent in your life," he said.

"My sincere hope is to inspire both fathers and mothers who may feel challenged by single parenthood or by your current situation," he later continued. "I'm really writing for all parents, including those foster parents or relatives who raise kids that may not be biologically their own, as well as coaches, teachers, advocates, and mentors. By investing our love and energy and time in young people and in their development, we change and heal our world."

The timing of Wade's essay is ironic, given that on Tuesday, a judge denied his request to suspend visitation rights from his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, and ordered him to turn their sons over to her for a visit. It's just the latest in the back-and-forth custody saga that's been ongoing since the pair's 2010 divorce.

Wade married Funches-Wade in 2002 and filed for divorce in 2007, and after a lengthy divorce and custody battle, the divorce was finalized in 2010. Wade was awarded sole custody of their kids in 2011.

Wade is not the first athlete to go through a contentious divorce, click through the slideshow below to see even more messy divorces from the sports world.

Nastiest Athlete Divorces

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