NBA player Chris Paul reportedly enrolled at Winston-Salem State University as a method to not only encourage students to vote but also provide services that help them with the process.
While many outlets reported the 35-year-old’s status as a new student at the Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Paul confirmed the news during an ESPN interview.
“Just about everybody in my family went to an HBCU except for me,” Paul said. “When Stephen A. talks about Winston-Salem State, that’s near and dear to my heart. For me, it’s been about trying to give a voice to HBCUs.”
The announcement was made during HBCU week, which is meant to encourage high-school-aged youth to enroll in HBCUs, while also advocating for scholarship dollars and undergraduate opportunities for students.
“Everyone doesn’t always know about HBCUs and why they were created, and I just try to bring attention to them,” Paul said.
He enrolled in online classes at Winston-Salem State during the first week of the NBA playoff.
Though he previously attended Wake Forest University, he left during his sophomore year to play in the NBA. However, both of his parents are Winston-Salem State alumni.
Paul and other players are working to provide transportation to voting sites for students who attend HBCUs.
“We are providing transportation to HBCU students to get (to) polls so we are working on that now,” Paul said.
Winston-Salem State is aware of Paul’s activities and supports his decision to effect change as a student.
“To see that he’s helping get students to the polis is a big deal because he wanted to make sure everybody gets that chance to vote,” James DuBose, an associate athletics director at WSSU, told the Winston-Salem Journal.
During the NBA playoffs, Paul showed his support of HBCU’s by wearing different shoes representing schools such as Winston-Salem State, North Carolina A&T and N.C. Central.
While he is currently a player for the Oklahoma City Thunder, many are wondering if Paul is planning to leave the team anytime soon. With two years left on his contract, he stands to make approximately $44,000,000.
Not too long ago, Paul led the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), as president, in the protest against racial discrimination and police brutality that stopped causing a lot of teams to opt-out of playing.