Paul Reed was born on June 14, 1999 to Paul and Michelle Reed. Reed has four sisters: Hazel, Danielle, Chantel and Janelle. Reed's uncle, Mike Sims-Walker, played four seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars. His father played collegiate basketball at Old Dominion and UCF before embarking on a professional career in Europe. Reed attended Wekiva High School in Florida, where he was named the Central Florida Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel as a senior. Reed led Wekiva to a state-runner-up finish in Florida's Class 9A tournament, averaging 18.2 points and 11.4 boards per game during his senior season. Reed's playing time and counting stats both grew steadily throughout his three seasons with DePaul. As he freshman, he learned behind the likes of Marin Maric and Tre-Darius McCallum, averaging just under ten minutes per game. Reed truly broke out as a sophomore, however, posting 12.3 PPG and 8.5 RPG en route to winning the Big East's Most Improved Player honor. By his junior year, Reed grew into one of the nation's top stat sheet stuffers. He led the Big East in total rebounds (305), was third in field goal percentage (.516) and second in blocks per game (2.6). He recorded 18 double-doubles in 29 games played, with his best effort coming Jan. 4 against Providence, when he recorded 24 points and 15 rebounds. Another highlight came Nov. 29 against Minnesota, when he rejected a career-high eight shots. In a conference loaded with frontcourt talent, Reed landed on the All-Big East second team. He even displayed shades of three-point shooting at the collegiate level, knocking down a total of 34 treys in three season. Riding the momentum of a career season, Reed elected to go pro after his junior year and signed with an agent the following May.