Chris Paul’s No. 3 jersey hangs in the rafters of Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but his legacy at Wake Forest is far from finished. The NBA superstar point guard just made a major contribution to his alma mater to support the Demon Deacons basketball program.
After inking a four-year, $160 million max contract with the Houston Rockets this summer, the All-Star floor general and Winston-Salem, North Carolina native is donating $2.5 million to help transform the men’s and women’s basketball clubhouses with “expanded and enhanced locker rooms, nutrition resources and treatment areas.”
It is the largest donation ever by a former Wake Forest basketball student-athlete or any alumnus under the age of 35.
Part of the university’s Wake Will Lead campaign, the new men’s upgrades will be named Chris Paul Locker Room in his honor.
“The locker room transformation project inspired me, because that’s where players build relationships and create a unifying camaraderie that is the foundation of success on the court,” Paul told Wake Forest. “Forming lifelong friendships with your teammates is one of the most rewarding aspects of sports.”
Paul’s philanthropic efforts expand so much beyond this one donation, too.
He hosts the Chris Paul Family Foundation Charity Golf Classic each year, awards two scholarships annually for the Nathaniel Jones Student Scholarship he established in 2007, and is big in the grassroots basketball scene with Team CP3 of the Nike EYBL, among many others efforts.
Paul, a 2005 consensus All-American during his second and final year playing at Wake Forest, is one of basketball’s great leaders and ambassadors, and this is more proof.
“Chris honors those who have inspired him by doing the same for many others,” Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch said. “I admire his leadership in the spirit of Pro Humanitate and am grateful for his unwavering commitment to his alma mater and our community.”
“We appreciate Chris’ desire to give back to our program and assist our mission to cut down nets. Our goal is to have players who are not just a part of this program for four years but are a part of this program for life,” Demon Deacon’s head coach Danny Manning added. “When our alumni are invested in the future success of Demon Deacon basketball, it allows us to build a stronger program.”
That’s what Paul did with this multi-million dollar donation, and chances are there will be more to follow.