On the court, Chris Paul, or CP3, as fans affectionately call him, is a force to be reckoned with, a fierce competitor, the face of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise, and one of the most talented, respected NBA basketball players of all time.
After leaving Wake Forest University at end of his sophomore year, Chris was chosen by the New Orleans Hornets with the fourth pick in the 2005 NBA draft, which led to NBA Rookie of the Year honors, and the first of his nine All Star selections. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina native is also a four-time NBA First Team selection, a five-time All NBA Defensive First Team selection, a four-time NBA assist champion, and a six-time NBA steals champ. He played with the Hornets for six seasons and took the team to their first Southwest Division title in franchise history in 2008 before signing with the Clippers in 2011. Since joining the Clippers, Chris has elevated the once dormant franchise into a legitimate contender. The magnetic, feisty point-guard has become a well-respected, admired leader of his team, as well as to the entire NBA, with teammates and other players (Chris serves as Presidents of the NBA Players Association) turning to the 30-year-old for wisdom and advice.
Four years after winning the gold medal with Team USA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Chris played an integral role in the United States taking home the gold again at the 2012 Olympics in London.
But basketball isn’t the only thing keeping Chris busy these days. He donates his time and money to the nonprofit organizations Feed the Children, the Special Olympics of North Carolina, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Meals on Wheel. The foundation also refurbished four basketball courts to help rebuild the city of New Orleans. Chris partnered with Chase Bank and created the CP3 Afterschool Zone, an after school program that provides children with safe places to enjoy enrichment activities while getting assistance with their homework. Chris hosts an annual Chris Paul Charity Bowling Tournament, which airs annually on ESPN.
Chris attributes his tenacious work ethic to his late grandfather, Nathaniel “Papa Chill” Jones, who opened the first black-owned gas station in North Carolina in the mid-sixties. Tragically in 2002, during Chris’ senior year at West Forsyth High School, his 61-year-old grandfather was tragically beaten to death outside of his home during a robbery attempt. The loss was undeniably hard for Chris and his family, but with his strong faith and huge heart, a game a week after the murder, as a tribute to Papa Chill, Chris scored one point for every year his grandfather lived. When he reached the 61-point mark, he intentionally missed a free throw, and then took himself out of the game.
Although his career keeps him extremely busy, for Chris, who is married to his college sweetheart, Jada, with two small children, family comes first and matters above all.