Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul graduated from Winston-Salem State University on Friday, and he gifted $2,500 to every person in his class.
Following his team’s victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Paul showed up in North Carolina to graduate from the school with a bachelor’s degree in communications. In a red-and-white cap and gown, Paul joined his classmates to celebrate their achievements. Paul first began studying for his bachelor’s degree in 2003, but his NBA career put his education to the side when he was selected by the New Orleans Hornets with the No. 4 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.
Per ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, Paul gifted every graduate from the university with $2,500.
“Man it’s cool, I’m excited, Long time coming,” Paul told The Arizona Republic on Thursday ahead of his graduation. “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.”
In an interview with The Arizona Republic last month, he announced his plans to graduate and stressed the importance of supporting historically Black colleges and universities. “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,” he said.
“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.”