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Life Lessons from Papa, On and Off the Court

Chris Paul with Michael Wilbon

St. Martin's Press

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ISBN10: 1250276713
ISBN13: 9781250276711


336 Pages



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The day after future NBA superstar Chris Paul signed his letter of intent to play college basketball for Wake Forest, he received a world-shattering phone call. His grandfather, Nathaniel "Papa" Jones, a pillar of the Winston-Salem community where he owned and operated the first Black-owned service station in North Carolina, was mugged and ultimately died from a heart attack resulting from the assault. His funeral filled the largest church in the county, which held over one thousand people. He was sixty-one years old.

The day after burying his grandfather, Chris was coping the best way he knew how: by playing basketball for his high school team. After pouring in shot after shot, his last attempt was an airball purposely flung out of bounds from the foul line before Chris exited the game. The next day, local news headlines declared that he fell six points shy of the statewide single game high school scoring record. But he accomplished exactly what he set out to do: scoring sixty-one points, one for each year of life lived by his grandfather.

In Sixty-One, Chris opens up about life beyond basketball and the role his grandfather played in molding him into the man and father he is today. He’ll speak about the foundation of faith and family he built his life upon, what it means to be a positive light within your community and beyond, and the importance of setting the proper example for future generations. Most importantly, Chris will talk about his home, Winston-Salem, and the close-knit family and village that raised him to become one of the most respected leaders in all of sports.


Praise for Sixty-One

"Candid."Sports Illustrated

"Unusually moving."GQ Sports

"Moving . . . fresh and refreshing."Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Chris Paul with Michael Wilbon

Chris Paul is a ten-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold medalist. The Winston-Salem native currently plays with the Phoenix Suns and previously played with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans Hornets. Off the court, he’s a father, husband, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist. He has served as the President of the National Basketball Players Association since 2013. He is the founder of Ohh Dip!!! Productions, part owner of the Winston-Salem Dash, and co-founder of Go Hoop Day. His Chris Paul Family Foundation has given back to local communities since 2005.

Michael Wilbon is an award-winning journalist and co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. He has reported on sports for over thirty years, and worked with Charles Barkley on his books I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It and Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?, both New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Chris Paul's Stats on Basketball Reference