Chris Paul was a high school basketball player in Winston-Salem, N.C. when his grandfather was murdered. He scored 61 points to match his grandfather’s age.
The day after Paul accepted a full basketball scholarship to Wake Forest University was the day when he received a shocking news about his grandfather’s murder. According to police, Chris’ grandfather Jones was beaten and left to die in a carport outside his home, his wallet was missing. Five juveniles have been charged with the murder.
That’s when Paul decided to honor his grandfather in his next game by scoring one point for every year of his grandfather’s life.
According to ABC news and ESPN’s Chris Connelly, after returning to the basketball court, Paul thought “How can I go out there on that court knowing my grandfather’s not there? And my aunt mentioned before I went to the Parkland game, she said, ‘How about 61 points for your granddad?’ And I just thought to myself, ‘That would be lovely’ and ”There is no way I can do that.‘” Paul said.
With less than two minutes left in the game, Paul had scored 59 points. Then he drove to the hoop, took a hard foul and the shot dropped. He had his 61.
Paul was just six points away from the state record for most points in a game, but he walked to the foul line.
“I walked to the free throw line, he gave me the ball and I shot an airball right out of bounds,” Paul said. “And my coach took me out. I just looked at my dad and started crying.”
Paul said the incredible moment on the court helped with the pain.
Today, Chris Paul is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets NBA. He has won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, an NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, two Olympic gold medals, and led the NBA in assists four times and steals six times. He has also been selected to nine NBA All-Star teams, eight All-NBA teams, and nine NBA All-Defensive team.