NBA superstar Chris Paul graduated from Winston-Salem State University on Friday with a bachelor’s degree in communications. And besides reaching the significant milestone, the Phoenix Suns point guard also performed a generous act by gifting each of his fellow graduates $2,500, Sports Illustrated reported.
The 37-year-old NBA veteran traveled to North Carolina to attend the ceremony after the Phoenix Suns’ 111–95 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul gained admission to the historically Black college in 2020. Prior to being drafted into the NBA in 2005, Paul was a student at Wake Forest. But he put a pause on his college education after making the big move.
In an interview after his team’s victory over the Clippers, Paul shared his excitement about finally earning a college degree. “Man it’s cool, I’m excited, Long time coming,” Paul said. “To be able to go back home and do that with my family is something that snuck up kinda quick but I’m probably most excited that I get to spend the next 10 days with my wife and my kids.”
During the course of his NBA career, Paul has significantly contributed to HBCUs. Besides launching an internship pipeline at North Carolina A&T, Paul also produced a docuseries that casts a spotlight on the challenges affecting HBCU athletic programs, per Sports Illustrated. He also played a role in two basketball showcases about HBCUs.
“I speak about it every now and then when I get a chance, but I think HBCUs are so important for trying to make sure that we level the playing field,” Paul said in November, according to the Arizona Republic. “Make sure that they’re provided with the same opportunities that a lot of these other schools are blessed with, and the guys are just as talented, if not more talented, they just need the platform. They need people to see them, to believe in them.”