More than 17 years after leaving college early to enter the NBA, Chris Paul graduated from Winston-Salem State University on Friday.
Paul attended the ceremony in North Carolina less than 12 hours after his Phoenix Suns defeated the Clippers in Los Angeles.
Paul graduated with a degree in communications and had a gift for his fellow graduates.
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The future Hall of Famer gave each graduate $2,500.
“Man, that’s great. I’m excited. Long time to go”, Paul said after Thursday’s game. “Being able to come home and do that with my family is something that came up a little quickly, but I’m probably more excited to be able to spend the next 10 days with my wife and kids.”
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Paul was born in Winston-Salem, grew up in nearby Lewisville, and attended West Forsyth High School in Clemmons. He played college basketball at Wake Forest, located in Winston-Salem, for two years before giving up his last two years of college eligibility to turn professional. He was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets.
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Paul will now shift his focus to the Suns, whose 17-12 record is fourth-best in the Western Conference.