September 19, 2013 2:54pm PT by Philiana Ng
Miami Heat Star Dwyane Wade to Drop by Disney Channel's 'Austin & Ally'
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade is heading to Disney Channel's Austin & Ally.
The three-time NBA champion will make a cameo on the live-action comedy in a season-three episode slated to air early next year.
In the episode, Dez (Calum Worthy) invites Austin (Ross Lynch), Ally (Laura Marano) and Trish (Raini Rodriguez) over to his cousin's house, only to discover that it's actually NBA star Dwyane Wade. Once they recover from the shock of meeting their basketball hero, the gang realizes Dwyane is an over-the-top Austin Moon superfan with dreams of being a rock star. That leads Austin and Ally to include him "in a songwriting session," executive producer Kevin Kopelow reveals.
Wade said it was his two sons who pushed him to appear on a series, though they weren't aware that he filmed the cameo. "My kids told me that I needed to go on Disney," Wade, who filmed his appearance Thursday, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "They said, 'Daddy, you need to do it!' "
For the producers, it was crucial for them to score top-tier talent for the guest spot. "We came up with the general idea for the episode and knew it would only work if we had a really great guest star in the role," executive producer Heath Seifert, who credited the casting team, tells THR. "We made a wish list of our dream names and Dwyane was at the top of it. We knew we were being ambitious going out to somebody of his caliber."
Wade, who appeared as himself in 2012's What to Expect When You're Expecting and 2010's Just Wright as well as a 2004 episode of NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice, is the latest sports star to drop by a scripted series, following on the heels of Olympian Michael Phelps booking a cameo on USA's Suits.
Austin & Ally wraps season two on Sept. 29.