Thought about writing this post a couple weeks ago, but didn't get to it until today. I considered it when I was at the Florida State, and saw all of the basketball players back in the endzone for the Demon Deacons. And, there was Chris Paul, grinning, holding a giant check to establish a scholarship for an athlete and a student in Winston-Salem. Chris Paul might not have a job with the NBA Lockout looming, but he bolted back into the Dash long enough to meet with the team and make another donation to the community he is proud of.
What separates CP3 and others is that he finds a way to do it in an understated way, but keep it fun. His "Winston-Salem Weekend" has done everything from assemble care packages for the troops to a charity pickup game to a bowling tournament.
Although he is polarizing at times, between leaving Wake after his sophomore year and siding with Lebron on the Super Team argument, he has always represented the community well and given back. Winston-Salem is his home, and he's proud of it. As a Cleveland fan with a ton of civic pride myself, that kind of thing is really refreshing to me. He has also wholeheartedly embraced New Orleans, and done a lot there.
Wake fans knew Chris was a special player before he ever took the court for the Demon Deacons. His 61-point game in high school to honor his grandfather just solidified that. He wrote a children's book in 2009 about the story (and his dream to play basketball), and told it all during a special on ESPN (Rick Reilly's "Homecoming").
An All Star performer on the court, it would be easy for Paul to go the route of a lot of other NBA players, spending lavishly and picking up numbers down in Miami (*cough cough* Kris Humphries), but he finds a way to balance having fun and seemingly like he genuinely wants to make a difference off the court. It is a solid example of Wake Forest's motto, "Pro Humanitate," put into action.
To see the rest of the Buick Human Highlight Reel, and even share a story of your own, go to ncaa.com/buick. This post is sponsored by Buick.