Chris Paul is winning both on and off the court.
Just hours after helping the Phoenix Suns defeat the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, Paul received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Winston-Salem State University.
Paul, the Suns’ star point guard, made it from Los Angeles to North Carolina to walk at his 2022 fall commencement on Friday morning.
A total of 5,004 students are currently enrolled at Winston-Salem State University, according to the school’s website.
For Paul, the graduation ceremony was a refreshing reminder of life outside the NBA.
“Being here with y’all made my day,” he said in a video posted to the university’s Instagram. “There’s so many different things that we do on a regular day as far as being an athlete, I’m playing all these games, but sometimes you just wanna be normal. You just wanna do the normal things that everyone else does.”
“It’s a big deal. Everyone has their own experiences, their own journey,” he went on. “I wanted the full experience of what it meant to be a graduate.”
The athlete also posted several photos of himself in Winston-Salem’s bright red graduation cap and gown on his verified Instagram. “Bucket list moment,” he wrote.
And Paul used his degree as an opportunity to give back. At the ceremony, Paul announced that he would give each graduate a banking account at Greenwood – a financial services company focused on people of color – funded with $100 and a one-year waiver of membership dues.
Paul, 37, originally attended Wake Forest University before turning pro in 2005 after his sophomore season. He was traded to the Suns in 2020, which led him to reach the NBA finals for the first time in his career.
During Thursday’s game against the Clippers, Paul scored 15 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds. The Suns won 111-95 over the Clippers.