Chris Paul is the President of the National Basketball Players’ Association, in charge of helping his 450 teammates and competitors respond to everything from COVID-19 to social justice movements to collective bargaining agreements.
He’s the point guard on the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team currently seated in the 5th spot in the Western Conference playoff race as the NBA season is set to resume in late July. He’s a husband, a father of two children and committed to many other causes off the floor as well. One might think he has a lot on his plate.
Paul disagrees. On Wednesday Paul and Roadside Entertainment announced they will be producing a docuseries about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and in particular the challenges those schools face in competing with bigger programs.
Though Paul went to Wake Forest University and played for the Demon Deacons, an ACC basketball program that has rivalries with the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels, he grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C., the home of Winston-Salem State University, an HBCU that was founded in 1892.
Paul has long been supportive of HBCU’s, and often wears gear from those universities when he walks into the arena before games. One night, Paul wore an orange hat with “Langston University” across the front, honoring Oklahoma’s sole HBCU.
“HBCUs historically have been at a competitive disadvantage with their basketball programs facing many challenges with funding, recruitment, misperceptions, and exposure,” said Chris Paul in a press release. “With the current racial awakening in our country prompting young athletes to look at where they play, it’s now more important than ever to shine a light on HBCUs and showcase their value in sports and society.”