Dwyane Wade: Gabrielle Union “Makes My Eyes Sparkle”

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade attend the unveiling of the new Porshe Boxter at The Collection on June 30, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Collection

Gabrielle Union is beautiful, talented and educated — but that's not why Dwyane Wade adores the Good Deeds actress.

"She makes my eyes sparkle," the Miami Heat basketball player, 30, gushed of his girlfriend during Oprah's Next Chapter July 8. And it's all because of the way Union helps raise his sons, Zaire, 10, and Zion, 5 (from his previous marriage to Siohvaughn Funches, his high school sweetheart).

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"The biggest time she makes my eyes sparkle is when Zaire comes home and homework is a little hard that day, so he's stressing, and she goes to the table with him and she sits down until he gets it," Wade said of Union, 39, his love of three years. "And at that time my heart is smiling a little bigger that day because I know her love is deeper than just me."

In March 2011, Wade was awarded custody of his boys after a three-year court battle with Funches. Despite their highly-publicized family drama, Wade made sure his sons never doubted both of their parents' love.

"I just try to keep it positive. I try to make sure that they know how much their mom and dad both love them," he told host Oprah Winfrey, 58. "'At the end of the day, you guys are the most important thing to us.'"

With Union by his side, the two-time NBA champ said his life has only gotten better. "We're a family, and we're growing as a family every day. And I think that's the great thing about it," Wade said. "We have so much more room to improve as a family and it's awesome."

Oprah's Next Chapter airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on OWN.

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