Paul dishes out assists on and off the court

Paul dishes out assists on and off the court
September 21
05:00 2017

Chris Paul has held a steady presence in the city of Winston-Salem going back to his days at Wake Forest University.  Since then, through his nonprofit organization, camps and many in-person visits, he is well visible around the city during the NBA off-season.

Last Wednesday he made an appearance at the Salvation Army International Boys and Girls Club for their unveiling of new gymnasium and technology center.The Winston-Salem native held a press conference before meeting up with the kids, where he spoke about his future in the NBA, the relief efforts for the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the newly renovated Boys And Girls Club.

“It’s all good and well basketball-wise, but everyone there in the city is dealing with a lot more than the sport of basketball,” said Paul when asked about his transition to Houston.  “That is a part of the process, but I am excited to be there.”

Paul, who was just traded to the Houston Rockets this off-season, said his home was not damaged by the storm because his residence is north of Houston.  Over his career, Paul has played for the New Orleans Hornets (now known as Pelicans), Los Angeles Clippers and now the Rockets.  Paul was actually a member of the Hornets when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.He went on to speak about the importance of giving back to the kids, especially since he himself is a father of two children.  He also stated that the NBA players’ union will match any player’s donation up to $20,000 for hurricane relief in the Houston area.

“I have always had a passion for kids first and foremost, but it means even more now with kids of my own,” he said.  “You start to see how kids look at people differently.  These kids here just want someone to believe in them, someone to motivate them and push them.”

Following the press conference, Paul led a basketball clinic at the new gymnasium for the kids.  The event was sponsored by NBA Care and State Farm insurance.  Before the clinic, he fielded questions from the children, who asked some hard- hitting questions.

He told the kids his first love in sports was the game of football.  He explained how he grew up playing basketball at the Carl H. Russell Sr. Community Center and how it helped develop his game.  A young boy asked Paul why he looked taller in person and he jokingly replied that he looks taller in person because most of the people on the court are 6 foot-5 inches or taller.

They then hit the court and ran through some drills for the children to enjoy followed by a technology scavenger hunt.  Paul says he enjoys being around the kids because they don’t sugar coat their questions, they just give it to you “raw.”

“That’s the priceless thing about it and it’s great to see,” Paul said when asked about the feeling he gets when he sees the smiles on the kids faces when he walks in the door.  “That’s what I love about being around the kids and they will keep you honest.  You can’t prepare for their questions because they will ask you anything that comes to their mind.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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