Chris Paul: Courtesy Getty Images
Written By Wake Forest Sports Information Department
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest will retire the No. 3 jersey of former Demon Deacon All-American Chris Paul during a halftime ceremony at the March 2 game against Maryland.
As part of Chris Paul Day presented by Lowe's Home Improvement, Wake Forest will honor Paul at a breakfast to benefit the CP3 Foundation and then at the noon game against Maryland.
The breakfast will be held at the Grand Pavilion at the Embassy Suites in Winston-Salem at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. The breakfast is open the public at a cost of $100 per person, with proceeds benefitting the CP3 Foundation. For reservations, call the Wake Forest Sports Marketing Office at 336-758-7225.
The first 10,000 fans in attendance at the game later that day will receive a free tie-dye t-shirt compliments of Jordan Brand.
Paul's No. 3 will be the 11th Wake Forest jersey honored in the rafters of the Lawrence Joel Coliseum. Paul is the first Deacon to have his number retired since Josh Howard's No. 5 in January 2004. No Deacon has worn No. 3 since Paul left Wake Forest for the NBA in 2005.
Other Demon Deacons to have their jerseys retired are Charlie Davis (12), Muggsy Bogues (14), Skip Brown (15), Tim Duncan (21), Randolph Childress (22), Dickie Hemric (24), Rod Griffin (32), Len Chappell (50) and Rodney Rogers (54).
Paul, who grew up 10 minutes from the Wake Forest campus in Lewisville, played two seasons for the Deacons from 2003-05. As a freshman in 2003-04, Paul was named ACC Rookie of the Year after averaging 14.9 points and 5.9 assists per game. He led Wake Forest to a 21-10 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Paul propelled the Deacons to new heights as a sophomore in 2004-05, as Wake Forest won a school-record 27 games and rose to No. 1 in the national polls for the first time in program history.
As a sophomore, Paul was a consensus first team All-American after he averaged 15.3 points and 6.6 assists per game. He also picked up ACC All-Defensive Team honors, leading the league with 2.4 steals per game.
Paul ended his Wake Forest career with 948 points, 395 assists and 160 steals. He ranks eighth in school history in assists and seventh all-time in steals despite playing just two seasons. Paul's teams went a combined 30-4 at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum, including a perfect 16-0 mark in 2004-05.
Paul left Wake Forest for the NBA after his sophomore season and was the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets. He was an instant success in the NBA, earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2005-06.
Two years later in 2007-08, Paul finished as runner-up for NBA MVP, garnering 28 first-place votes after averaging 21.1 points and 11.6 assists per game and leading the Hornets to the Southwest Division title.
Paul spent his first six seasons in the NBA with New Orleans before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the 2011-12 season.
Paul is only the fifth player in NBA history to lead the league in both steals and assists in the same season (2007-08; 2008-09) and he is one of two players to accomplish the feat twice.
Arguably the best point guard in the game of basketball, Paul has also won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA. He served as the backup point guard on the 2008 team that won gold in Beijing before assuming the starting role on the 2012 squad that won gold in London.
Paul was recently selected to his sixth-straight NBA All-Star Game this season, which is the sixth-longest active streak in the NBA.
Paul has continued to make Winston-Salem his home since leaving Wake Forest, leading many philanthropic efforts in the area. He created his CP3 Foundation in 2005 as a partnership with The Winston-Salem Foundation in honor of his late grandfather.
The CP3 Foundation, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last several years, focuses on enriching the communities it services through initiatives including the Nathaniel Jones Scholarship Fund, in memory of Paul's grandfather.
The scholarship is designated as 50 percent for a basketball student-athlete and 50 percent for a need-based student undergraduate scholarship with first preference given to students from West Forsyth High School.
The CP3 Foundation's initiatives also include partnerships with Feed The Children, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boys & Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity. The Foundation also sponsors and supports literacy initiatives, youth basketball clinics and court refurbishments, holiday giving and emergency preparedness initiatives.
A two-time Dean's List member during his time on campus, Paul is committed to earning his degree from Wake Forest. He has carved time out of his busy schedule to return to the University for summer classes with the goal of graduating with a degree in communication.
The jersey retirement ceremony will be held at halftime of the Wake Forest-Maryland game. Tickets for the game are available online at WakeForestSports.com or by calling the Wake Forest Ticket Office at 336-758-3322.
Wake Forest Sports Information Dept.