NBA superstar Chris Paul, a Winston-Salem native, has made a $2.5 million donation to support Wake Forest basketball. Paul was an All-ACC star at Wake Forest.
Paul’s donation is the largest ever by any Wake Forest alumnus under 35. It will be used to help redesign the men’s and women’s basketball clubhouses with expanded locker rooms, nutrition resources and treatment areas. The new Chris Paul Locker Room for the men’s team will be named in his honor.
Paul and Wake Forest athletics director made the announcement at the Chris Paul Family Foundation Charity Golf Classic Tuesday in Winston-Salem. Nearly two dozen former Deacons players and coaches attended.
“Giving back has always been important to my family and me, and Wake Forest is part of my family,” Paul said in a statement. “The recent investments towards improving Wake Forest Athletics are amazing, and now is the time to give back in a meaningful way.”
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Paul played high school basketball at West Forsyth High in nearby Clemmons, N.C. After playing on junior varsity for two seasons, Paul averaged 25 points as a junior and led his team to the state semifinals. That same year, he led the Kappa Magic to the AAU 17U national title.
As a senior, Paul scored 61 points in a game, honoring his 61-year-old grandfather, who had been slain earlier in the year. Paul averaged 30.8 points, 9.5 assists and 5.9 rebounds as a senior. He was a McDonald’s All-American and named Mr. Basketball by the Charlotte Observer in 2003.
At Wake Forest, Paul played two seasons. He led the Deamon Deacons to the Sweet 16 as a freshman and was named ACC Rookie of the Year. As a sophomore, he led the team to its first-ever No. 1 national ranking and led the Deacons back to the NCAA Tournament.
Paul is a nine-time NBA all-star who helped lead the Houston Rockets to the NBA Western Conference finals last season.