Chris Paul Named Sports Humanitarian Of The Year

LOS ANGELES – Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been named ESPN's second annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year for his impact using the power of sports to make a positive impact on society.

Paul and his family have dedicated themselves to helping children as much as possible and “evening the playing field” wherever possible, regardless where that child grows up, through the Chris Paul Family Foundation.

“It hit me that it’s not fair,” Paul said while opening a newly refurbished Boys & Girls Club in Watts. “It’s not fair that a kid on this side of town doesn’t have the same opportunities as a kid on the other side of town.”

For his work with the Boys & Girls Club and his yearlong dedication to helping in the community, Paul received the April 2015 NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his outstanding charitable contributions and philanthropy, one of three community assist awards he received in his career.

Paul and the Chris Paul Family Foundation made a $1 million commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, and while his numerous charity efforts in Los Angeles and his hometown of North Carolina – where, for example, he established the Nathaniel Jones Scholarship Fund at Wake Forest, providing one athletic and one academic full-ride scholarship to the school – have gone a long way, his charitable efforts have extended across the nation.

In January 2016, for instance, Paul was on the road to play the Trail Blazers. Before the game, he teamed with State Farm and the Chris Paul Family Foundation to continue the “Exist to Assist” community program by donating a new computer lab and interactive board to Alder Elementary in Portland.

“I can give back and make a bigger impact than just how many points or how many assists I get,” said Paul, who not only donated the equipment but went in person to the event just hours before shootaround. That was the second assist of the “Exist to Assist” program after delivering computers and smartboards to Brotherhood Crusade in Los Angeles in October. 

He’s made it a mission to do whatever possible to make sure children have the opportunity to succeed. From providing kids’ schools with the proper equipment and technology to raising money through charity work, Paul has worked alongside the Chris Paul Family Foundation, State Farm and the L.A. Clippers Foundation to assist throughout the community however possible, particularly when it comes to giving children the resources to succeed.

With charitable efforts such as his annual Chris Paul Celebrity Bowling Invitational and his annual TopSpin Celebrity Ping Pong Tournament, which is coming up in July in Las Vegas, he’s also found ways to raise money in exciting and fun ways, often bringing in other celebrities to help the cause.

“As a lot of people know, we really focus on putting technology and computer labs in underprivileged schools,” Paul said during his bowling event in February. “Events like this, while they’re fun and give people the opportunity to entertain and have a good time, it’s all going to a great cause. It’s always a lot of fun, and it’s good to have some new faces.”

Other finalists for this year’s Sports Humanitarian of the Year were San Jose Sharks’ Brent Burns, New York Liberty’s Tina Charles and Cincinnati Bengals’ Carlos Dunlap. The net proceeds from the awards, which were hosted by Laila Ali, benefited the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the V Foundation.