PHOENIX SUNS

Chris Paul graduates from Winston-Salem State, gifts fellow classmates $2,500

Dec 16, 2022, 4:34 PM | Updated: Jan 21, 2023, 5:57 pm

(Twitter Photo/@NBA)...

(Twitter Photo/@NBA)

(Twitter Photo/@NBA)

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul graduated from Winston-Salem State in North Carolina on Friday.

The 12-time NBA All-Star began his collegiate career at Wake Forest in 2003, where he worked on a bachelor’s degree for two years before turning pro.

Now nearly two decades later, the 37-year-old college graduate gets to celebrate and be commemorated in the ol’ cap and gown.

“When you start something, you want to see it through, you want to finish it,” Paul told the New York Times.

“And even though I was blessed and fortunate to go to the NBA, I still wanted to graduate.”

“Anybody that’s made that kind of money and has that kind of a claim, to sacrifice and still go back and get their degree — that’s an example for children and young adults everywhere that education is important,” Suns head coach Monty Williams told reporters.

“Even if you’re an entertainer or an athlete, the ability or the will and sacrifice to go back and get your degree is huge.”

Winston-Salem State is an H.B.C.U. (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), which is also where both of Paul’s parents went to school.

“I grew up in the backyard of all the H.B.C.U.s, so it was natural for me,” Paul said.

The Suns guard also assisted his fellow graduates by dishing out $2,500 into each of their Greenwood accounts.

“The very first time, we’d have to send an email to one of our classmates and tell them what our name is and what we do,” Paul said.

“I’d get a few classmates that would hit me back and start putting messages in my mailbox: ‘Are you who I think you are?’”

The Suns had an off day following a four-game road trip that ended in Los Angeles, so Paul decided to make the cross-country trip before returning on Saturday night to host the Pelicans.

Tip-off at Footprint Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.

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Chris Paul graduates from Winston-Salem State, gifts fellow classmates $2,500