WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Former Wake Forest men’s basketball standout Chris Paul has been selected as the guest picker on ESPN College Game Day Built by Home Depot for the Wake Forest football home opener against Clemson.
“Wake Forest and the city of Winston-Salem are extremely proud to have Chris Paul represent Deacon Nation as the guest picker on College GameDay on Saturday,” Director of Athletics John Currie said. “Through his philanthropy, work in the community and generosity with his time and giving, his on-court accomplishments are only surpassed by the servant-leadership that Chris, his wife Jada and the entire Paul family display in their actions daily.”
Leaving His Mark
In 2005, Chris and his family established the CP3 Foundation, a philanthropic partnership with The Winston-Salem Foundation in honor of his late grandfather. The foundation was created to highlight Chris’ dedication and love, both to his grandfather’s spirit and to the city of Winston- Salem, NC, for nurturing him from his days as a stand-out high school student-athlete to a national star at Wake Forest University.
In 2010, the foundation officially changed names to The Chris Paul Family Foundation, which launched the Leadership Alliance in 2019, to support marginalized students and community organizations around the country to enhance and support the growth and development of future leaders. The guiding principle behind the alliance is to lead with PRIDE: purpose, respect, integrity, discipline, and excellence-all fundamentals that embody true leadership. Club 61 and the HBCU Course Initiative are two programs that allow the foundation to directly support its leadership platform.
Celebrating 14 years of service to the community, Chris Paul and his family are extremely proud of their endowment to Wake Forest University, annually awarding two scholarships (one athletic and one academic) to a Forsyth County, North Carolina student with the Nathaniel Jones Scholarship, in memory of Chris’ grandfather and mentor.
He also gave $2.5 million to Wake Forest Basketball in 2018, which is the largest donation ever by a former basketball student-athlete or any alumnus under the age of 35. The new Chris Paul Locker Room for the men’s team will be named in his honor.
A Winston-Salem native, Paul attended West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, N.C. and was named North Carolina Mr. Basketball at the conclusion of his senior season in 2003.
During his two seasons (2003-2005) at Wake Forest, the current Oklahoma City Thunder guard led the team to new heights and established himself as one of college basketball’s top players. Playing for the late Skip Prosser, the 2005 consensus first-team All-American led the Demon Deacons to a school-record 27 victories and the program’s first No. 1 national ranking during his sophomore season. He still ranks in the top 10 in school history in career assists (395), career steals (160), career 3-point percentage (46.9) and career free throw percentage (83.8). In 2013, Wake Forest retired Paul’s No. 3 jersey, which now hangs in the rafters of Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, Paul has been the predominant point guard of his generation over the last 15 seasons. The 2005-06 NBA Rookie of the Year has been a 10-time NBA All-Star, earning MVP honors at the 2013 event, and twice helping the United States win an Olympic gold medal. Paul has been named to the All-NBA Team eight times, including four first-team selections, in addition to nine years on the NBA All-Defensive Team. He is the league’s active leader with 9,653 career assists, while his 9.9 career assist average is third best in NBA history. Since 2013, Paul has served as president of the National Basketball Players Association.