Dads play a necessary and important role in the life of a child. Positive interactions with dad affect every stage of childhood development, Lois Collins reported for the Deseret News.

And famous fathers are no exception. Despite demanding careers, athletes are just as necessary in their children's lives.

Here are eight athletes who have vocalized their love of fatherhood.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) plays with his son Baylen during their NFL football training camp in Metairie, La., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013.

Drew Brees
Associated Press

Dad: Drew Brees
Kids: Baylen, Bowen, Callen and one on the way.

Sport: NFL
Team: New Orleans Saints

"There's nothing like being a father. It's the greatest thing in the world," Brees told CBS News in a 2012 interview.

News anchor Lara Logan then said, "It kind of dwarfs football, huh, when you're a dad?"

Brees responded, "There's no doubt. It puts everything in perspective."

Drew Brees
Associated Press

Drew Brees talked to The Daddy Files about the importance of planning his busy schedule around his kids.

"During the season there’s not a lot of time, but I try to structure my whole schedule around where the kids are gonna be — home from school or awake from a nap or when I can read them a book before bedtime, bathe them — just quality time with them," Brees said.

"Especially Mondays and Tuesdays, everything is around them.”

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees shares a moment with his son Baylen after defeating the Indianapolis Colts during the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game in Miami, Sunday, February 7, 2010. The Saints won 31-17.

Drew Brees
Drew Brees' Twitter account

Drew Brees posted this picture on Twitter and wrote:

"Family selfie at Disneyland! Don't worry Callen, there's no germs on that handrailing. Lol."

Chris Paul
Chris Paul's Instagram account

Dad: Chris Paul
Kids: Chris and Camryn

Sport: NBA
Team: Los Angeles Clippers

When asked how he felt about having kids, Paul explained that it was something he continually prepared for.

"You definitely have to take deep breaths and you have to understand what's taking place. She's the one that's experiencing all the body changes, but it's an experience for the husband, too," Paul said in an interview with My Life as a Dad.

"I was reading the book 'What to Expect When Expecting,' and stuff like that. So every flight our team got on I was in to that book: what's happening this month, what's happening that month, what's the baby look like now."

Chris Paul
Associated Press

During an interview with My Life As a Dad, Chris Paul was asked to share one lesson he has learned as a father of two.

"Every dad is different, because you don't know their work schedule, and things like that. But I say this as it pertains to me, the most valuable thing that you have is your time," Paul told My Life As a Dad.

"I couldn't care less how much money you make, or anything like that. I tell people all the time my kids are the most important thing to me, and being with them and being around them.

"Anytime I have to go somewhere it kills me, I hate it. I hate traveling now because my son is old enough and he'll tell me, 'Dad I'm going to miss you while you're gone. Why are you leaving me?'

"... It kills me to know that there are times where my son will be playing in basketball games or something, and I won't be there. So time, that's one thing your kids will never forget. They may not remember something about money, but they will remember whether or not you were there when they needed you."

West Team's Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers holds the most valuable player trophy with his son, Chris Paul after the NBA All-Star basketball game Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, in Houston.

Chris Paul
Associated Press

Paul told OK! Magazine that his son rarely misses a game because he begs to be there, and Paul can't stand to be there without him.

"I told my wife if I have to be selfish about one thing and that can’t change is I need my son at the games. First of all, he loves it and would be devastated. ... When he acts up at home the way we scare him is saying, “Chris, we’re not going to let you go to the game.” It breaks him down," Paul told OK magazine.

"For me, after the game, I need to see him. It isn’t I want to see him, I need to see him.

"Ever since he was small, we may win or we may lose, but after the game to see him run to me and not care whether we won or lost. ... Now he’s a little older so he knows what’s going on. It’s a little different now. He’ll be like, 'Daddy, why did you lose tonight?' "

"But there’s nothing like after a game seeing him."

Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul holds his son Chris Paul Jr., 4, during the NBA All Star basketball news conference, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in New Orleans. The 63rd annual NBA All Star game will be played Sunday in New Orleans.


Chris Paul
Chris Paul's Instagram account

Chris Paul posted this picture on Instagram and wrote:

"HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY to a special lil guy, my beautiful son Chris II @littlechrisp!!! Crazy how time flies. No matter how old, big or smart he continues to get, he'll ALWAYS be MY guy!!! #GrowingUp #DontLikeMeToKissHimAnymore #Str8Pounds #GotAllTheKindergardenGals"

Jeff Gordon
Associated Press

Dad: Jeff Gordon
Kids: Ella and Leo

Sport: NASCAR

Jeff Gordon said he and his wife, Ingrid, agreed before they had kids that family would always be a priority.

"I live with their schedule and do all I can to be the best dad that I can. There are certain obligations that come along with my job, so we put those all in the schedule as far in advance as possible," Gordon told USAToday.com.

"There are some weeks when one outweighs another. But I feel like we're doing a good job of making it work."

Jeff Gordon celebrates in victory lane with his wife Ingrid Vandebosch, daughter Ella Sofia and son Leo Benjamin after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon's Instagram account

"My family helps motivate me as well," Gordon told Larry King, NASCAR.com reported.

"Having two young children, I want to see them experience racing or sort of me see it through their eyes and make them proud."

Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon's Twitter account

Gordon posted this picture on Twitter writing:

"Ella driving a quarter midget for the first time today. The smile says it all."

Dwyane Wade
Photo by Dania Graibe

Dad: Dwyane Wade
Kids: Zaire and Zion and helps raise his nephew Dahveon Morris

Sport: NBA
Team: Miami Heat

"It is not about the money I have or don't have," Wade told ABC News.

"It is about the time I am willing to sit down across the table from my kids and if they don't get something right, helping them get it right."

After the release of his book, "A Father First," Wade shared some of his advice during an interview with the Washington Post.

"I want them to respect me as their father, as the disciplinarian, but I also want them to communicate with me. I think the way that I feel that will help them out is them understanding that Daddy will be as open and honest with them as possible," Wade said.

"Any questions they have, any situation comes up, I’m there. I’m cool, I’m fun and I also want the best for you. I want to make sure that you have that, whether you like it or not. It’s not always going to be yes, but feel comfortable enough to come to me. It’s just about communication."

Dwyane Wade
Photo by Dania Graibe

After Dwyane Wade and his high school sweetheart divorced, Wade fought for custody of his boys. In his book, Wade touches on what he wants to teach his children.

"I try to teach responsibility and I have to use the tools that’s in front of me. So right now the biggest tool I have to use is school," Wade told The Washington Post.

"How they act at school — how they respect others, the grades that they bring in — everything about that is what I use as a tool to make them responsible, and understanding that you have to work for the things you want. Daddy will take care of the things that you need, but the things that you want you have to work for, and these are the criteria."



Dwyane Wade
Dwayne Wade's Facebook account

While Wade is away from home, his sister is there to watch the boys. But when he's back home, Wade explained the importance of being available for his kids.

"When I'm away, we always set aside a specific time to talk every day, no matter what," Wade wrote on Parenting.com.

"When I was in China, we still had our daily phone call. I always ask how their day was. Even though I'm not there, I still want to share in the experience of being home: something new they learned in school that day, or an accomplishment they made on the basketball court. It comes down to two words: attention and affection. You never want your children to have to look outside of their parents for those two things."

Although it may take some re-scheduling, Wade expressed the importance of supporting his kids.

"Sometimes we have to move the date around, like when Zion's birthday fell on a Sunday, we celebrated on Saturday since I had a game. Zion's fourth birthday was actually the day after the Heat won the Eastern Conference finals during the 2011 season," Wade told The Washington Post.

"I didn't get home from Chicago until 3 a.m. By the time I woke up, Zion had already left for school. So I surprised him with cupcakes. You should have seen the huge smile on his face when I walked into his classroom. It's a moment I'll never forget."

Dwyane Wade
Dwayne Wade's Instagram

Dwyane Wade posted this picture on Instagram, stating:

"Hit the town to eat with the boys... This is when I feel like my best self.. #JustOneOfTheGuys #fatherfirst #yardbird #GreatTimes"

Bubba Watson
Reed Saxon, Associated Press

Dad: Bubba Watson
Kid: Caleb

Sport: Golf

Two-time Masters Golf Tournament winner Bubba Watson and his wife, Angie, adopted their son Caleb in the spring of 2012, just days before Watson won his first Masters.

In an interview with USA Today following his second win, Watson discussed the joy he finds in fatherhood.

" … When we were going through the process of the adoption, I didn't know what to expect being a dad. I mean, who wants to change a dirty diaper, you know what I'm saying? But now, changing his diapers doesn't even bother me. That's my boy. I'll do anything for him. But at first, all these thoughts go through your head. But Caleb has changed my personality, changed who I am, and hopefully made me a better person," Watson told USA Today.

Thirty-five-year-old Watson and his wife are in the process of adopting another child, according to golfweek.com.

Bubba Watson holds the winner's trophy with his wife Angie and son Caleb after his victory in the Northern Trust Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. Watson carded a 15-under-par 269, two strokes ahead of the second-place finisher.

Bubba Watson
Charlie Riedel, Associated Press

Following Watson’s 2014 Masters Tournament win, all eyes were on the father and son, who met on the 18th green at Augusta National Golf Club.

“Caleb Watson, the young son of Bubba Watson, stole the show at the Masters.
After Bubba tapped in a par putt to win by three strokes, the first thing he did was run over to snatch up Caleb and take a victory lap with him,” Business Insider said of the celebration.

Bubba Watson
Twitter

Watson posted this picture to his Twitter account with this caption:

"Nothing like fake fishing with my boy!! #ProudDad"

Jabari Greer
Associated Press

Dad: Jabari Greer
Kids: Jeshian, Elias, Jada and Jeremiah

Sport: NFL
Team: Previously with the New Orleans Saints

Greer has been involved with a father-focused nonprofit organization, the Greer Campaign, in which he speaks on the importance of having fathers in the home.

“I want people to wake up and see how our world is hungry for strong fathers,” he told the Associated Press. “They’re needed badly.”

“Families need the direction of a good father,” Greer said. “The role of fathers has been so diminished.

"You see it on TV all the time, the dad who wants to go to the bar instead of going home to his family. It’s not a very positive image.”

New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer (33) hugs his son Jeshian, 3, during their NFL football training camp in Metairie, La., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013.

Jabari Greer
Associated Press

“Ultimately, my family provides me with fulfillment that the league could never provide me with,” Greer told The Advocate.

New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer runs with his son Jeremiah Greer, 8, at Wally Pontiff Playground in Metairie, La., Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Fathers Day has a special meaning for New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer, who spent the weekend in the Tennessee town where he grew up throwing footballs and batting baseballs with his dad. His dad-focused nonprofit, the Greer Campaign, is hosted a 5K run, concert and street march in Jackson, Tennessee, to celebrate fathers and their importance to the well-being of their children.

Jabari Greer
Jabari Greer's Twitter account

Greer posted this picture on Twitter and wrote:

"I know there's 'Daddy's Girl' but is there a such thing as a 'Girly's Dad'
If there is ... I'm guilty."

Duncan Keith
Pierre LeBrun's Twitter account

Dad: Duncan Keith
Kid: Colton

Sport: NHL
Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Keith's son Colton was born last year during the NHL playoffs, so Keith was excited to be able to spend more time with his son after the playoffs ended.

"It's been fun. It's nice to have that quiet time with him at the end of the day, at night. I've definitely been reading him some books. We read a lot more books now. Pretty simple books, but he likes it," Keith told Redeyechicago.com.

"I don't even know what I'm reading. I'm just reading it. I'll pick out a book and read it to him and he likes it. It's just those little times that are fun. He smiles a lot now and laughs, so he's a happy little boy."

Ryan Hunter-Reay
Associated Press

Dad: Ryan Hunter-Reay
Kid: Ryden

Shortly after Ryden was born, Ryan Hunter-Reay commented on the new addition to their family.

"We’re just thrilled to have a healthy little boy. Nothing could have prepared us for the experience, words really can’t describe it. He’s only been on this earth for a few weeks and we’re already so proud of him," Hunter-Reay told AndrettiAutoSport.com.

"He showed up early, jumped the start just like his Dad! He knew I’d be busy with the Daytona 24 hour race so he came a bit early to help us out. Beccy is a natural at being a mom, she’s doing such an amazing job.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay lifts his son, Ryden, after Hunter-Reay won the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 25, 2014.