Photo: GETTY
  /  12.16.2022

Chris Paul demonstrated that it’s possible to be a winner on and off the basketball court. Last night (Dec. 15), after the Phoenix Suns point guard helped his team beat the Los Angeles Clippers 11-95, he got on a plane and flew down to North Carolina to prepare for his graduation.

Today (Dec. 16), Paul is set to walk across the Winston-Salem State University stage to accept his bachelor’s degree in communications. Paul, who is from Winston-Salem, enrolled in the historically Black university in 2020 to finish his studies, which he started in 2003 at Wake Forest. He couldn’t complete his courses due to getting drafted into the NBA in 2005.

Along with receiving his own diploma, he gifted each person in his graduation class $2,500.

After the Suns’ victory, reporters asked the Winston-Salem native about the ceremonial moment, and he said he’s mostly excited to share the achievement with his family.

“Man it’s cool, I’m excited, long time coming,” Paul said. “To be able to go back home and do that with my family is something that snuck up kind of quick, but I’m probably most excited that I get to spend the next 10 days with my wife and my kids.”

Over the years, CP3 has made major contributions to the HBCU community. He’s created an internship pipeline at North Carolina A&T and produced a docuseries to highlight the lack of resources for HBCU athletic programs. He’s also been a part of two different basketball showcases featuring HBCUs.

“I speak about it every now and then when I get a chance, but I think HBCUs are so important for trying to make sure that we level the playing field. Make sure that they’re provided with the same opportunities that a lot of these other schools are blessed with, and the guys are just as talented, if not more talented, they just need the platform. They need people to see them, to believe in them.”

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