New Orleans Hornets star guard Chris Paul returns home to Winston-Salem, N.C., on the next episode of “Homecoming with Rick Reilly,” which airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, on ESPN. Hosted by Reilly, an 11-time Sportswriter of the Year, the show challenges the old adage, “You can’t go home again.”
In the episode, Paul is interviewed in front of nearly 2,000 at his alma mater, Wake Forest University. Paul’s former coaches and teammates, including Mo Peterson, were in the audience, as well as his family members and other supporters. The most poignant moment was when Paul was moved to tears talking about the murder of his grandfather the day after he signed with Wake Forest and how he forgives the teenagers who committed the crime.
Former Hornets coach Byron Scott (now an ESPN analyst) shares how Paul was the key to saving the New Orleans franchise after Katrina, and that he knew he’d be rookie of the year in 2006 when the team played in Oklahoma City.
Paul also took Reilly back to his grandfather’s old gas station where they faced off in a Squeegee competition. Paul is so well liked that sometimes even visiting players such as San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay stay at his house when in New Orleans.
Paul on his poem about his grandfather written while at Wake Forest University: “My best friend goes by the name Nathaniel Frederick Jones, also known to his grandchildren as Pa-Pa Chile. In the 17 years I was blessed to have him by my side, he taught me more about life than I could ever learn with a Ph.D. or a bachelor’s degree. To him life was a gift that should be cherished and used very wisely, because tomorrow is never promised.”
On his Uni-Brow: “I’m going to tell you the truth, my grandma, used to tell me about my uni-brow, she said that that meant I was going to be rich. Better start praying for a uni-brow.”