At some point during each summer, assuming he is not preparing for the Olympics or any other international competition, you can find Chris Paul back in his hometown of Winston-Salem. One would think that this time would be filled with plenty of rest and relaxation for an NBA superstar preparing for another grueling 82-game season, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, Chris was busier than ever leading the family business centered around philanthropy and the CP3 brand.
I have been blessed to be surrounded by many successful businesspeople during my time with Wake Forest, and the family-centered operation anchored by Chris, his brother, CJ, and parents, Robin and Charles, is as impressive as any I have ever seen. Between evaluating business deals, impacting youth with the CP3 Basketball Academy and giving back to the community, all of these individuals work seamlessly together—each empowered in their own areas of expertise—with the singular mission of driving the CP3 enterprise forward.
During his time in Winston-Salem, Chris and his family made a significant impact on the community in numerous ways. He began with the CP3 Elite Guard Camp held August 1-4, an invitation-only camp for the top 20 high school and top 20 collegiate point guards from across the country. Throughout the camp, Chris could be seen imparting his knowledge and expertise on all participants.
Partnering with Wake Forest, the Chris Paul Family Foundation Charity Golf Classic was held on August 7 with proceeds used to support underprivileged elementary and middle school aged youth by providing opportunities for them to participate in local sports organizations, including the CP3 Basketball Academy, YMCA of Northwest North Carolina, Twin City Soccer, Winston-Salem Lacrosse and the First Tee of the Triad. Many Wake Forest basketball greats came back to participate in the tournament, which was a resounding success with more than $60,000 raised.
Perhaps most impressively, Chris helped pave the way for the future of Wake Forest basketball by donating $2.5 million—the largest gift ever made by a former basketball student-athlete or any alumnus under the age of 35—in support of the men’s and women’s basketball clubhouses. Encompassing more than 12,000 square feet, the forthcoming basketball clubhouses will include upgraded lockers, furniture and TVs, enhanced nutrition and treatment areas, team lounges and gaming spaces, tiered theaters, equipment rooms and outdoor living spaces. The new Chris Paul Locker Room for the men’s team will be named in his honor.
Chris’s philanthropic impact on Wake Forest also includes the Nathaniel Jones Student Scholarship, an endowment established in 2007 in memory of his grandfather and mentor, which awards two scholarships annually to deserving students.
Closing out his time in Winston-Salem, Chris addressed the Wake Forest football team after a practice with a simple but meaningful message: Enjoy the opportunity you have to play the sport you love.
My time with Chris during his summer visit to Winston-Salem showed me that he is so much more than an NBA superstar. Philanthropy is at the core of everything he does, with the Chris Paul Family Foundation impacting communities across the country every year. It’s no wonder Chris has been the recipient of the NBA Community Assist Award numerous times in his career! In looking toward the future, I am excited to continue to partner with Chris to make an impact on Wake Forest and the Winston-Salem community as a whole, and I truly feel that Chris’s best years are still in front of him.