No matter the sport or where an athlete comes from, it’s always fascinating to see what they invest in once they sign a big professional contract. Some buy creative jewelry. Others open schools in their hometowns. Oklahoma City Thunder superstar point guard Chris Paul is a man who is all about sports.
In 2018, shortly after inking a four-year, $160 million max contract to play for the Houston Rockets, the 10-time NBA All-Star floor general made a record-breaking donation to Wake Forest University — his alma mater — so the Demon Deacons could transform the men’s and women’s clubhouses. It was the largest donation ever by a former Wake Forest basketball student-athlete or any alumnus under the age of 35.
When Paul, a Winston-Salem, North Carolina native and one of the best point guards to ever play basketball, is not on the hardwood, he can be seen on hilarious State Farm commercials, on the bench for his Team CP3 AAU team of the Nike EYBL, or even on game shows like Family Feud.
The 34-year-old Paul, who was traded to OKC in a swap with Russell Westbrook last year, makes an impact in the community wherever he goes, and the four-time All-NBA player definitely loves sports so much that he has invested in three rather unique things to prove it.
L.A.X. (Professional Bowlers Association)
It’s no secret. NBA All-Star Chris Paul loves to bowl. If he wasn’t playing basketball, chances are he would be a professional bowler. He partners with his longtime sponsor State Farm to host the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational every year on ESPN — where athletes such as former Rockets teammate James Harden, Hall of Fame and former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens, former AL MVP Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox, and PBA bowlers Norm Duke and Pete Weber all participate — and is usually a smashing success.
Paul doesn’t just play for the love of the game, though. The NBA star actually owns a bowling team. Paul founded L.A.X., a Los Angeles, California-based team in the PBA League, back in 2012. The team has five players, and the star thrower, Jason Belmonte from Australia, has 18 titles and is a four-time PBA Player of the Year.
There’s no doubt Paul, who used to play for the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets as a rookie, loves to get a lane and throw a bowling ball any chance he can, whether it’s a celebrity bowling tournament for his CP3 Foundation or not, and he is just as good at knocking down pins as he is dishing out assists.
Winston-Salem Dash (Minor League Baseball)
In addition to his major donation to Wake Forest, Paul also made an investment in baseball in 2018, becoming the minority owner of the Winston-Salem Dash, a Class A-Advanced team in the Carolina League and an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs and former Cy Young winner Chris Sale both played for the franchise in the past.
There’s nothing like owning a baseball team in your hometown in the prime of your NBA career.
3. WTRMLN WTR
A juice start-up company that turns watermelon waste into a hydrating sports drink, Paul, along with pop icon Beyonce, invested an undisclosed amount in the Denver-based product. The WTRMLN WTR product is in over 15,000 stores in all 50 states, and it appears it’s just getting started.