|Born:||May 06, 1985
|Residence:||New Orleans, LA|
|Ht: / Wt:||6'0" / 170 lbs|
After finishing second in the NBA MVP voting in just his third pro season in 2007-08, Chris Paul will make his Olympic debut in Beijing. His only other stint with the U.S. senior national team was at the 2006 World Championships, where he started six of the nine games as the U.S. went 8-1 and won a bronze medal. Paul averaged 7.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and a team-best 4.9 assists in 23.7 minutes per game. His total number of assists (44) and per-game average were records for U.S. players in a world championships, and he also finished the tournament as the top player overall in assists-to-turnovers ratio. Paul did not play for Team USA in 2007 after undergoing surgery to repair a left foot stress reaction.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images After just his third pro season, Paul finished second in the NBA MVP voting in 2008.
Acting like a pro
Paul rejoins Team USA fresh off his finest professional season. In his third year with the New Orleans Hornets, he led the NBA in assists (11.6 a game) and steals (2.71) while also scoring 21.1 points in 37.6 minutes a game. He finished second in the MVP voting behind Team USA teammate Kobe Bryant, and played in his first NBA All-Star Game, which was held in New Orleans; Paul tallied 16 points and 14 assists in an impressive debut. He was selected by the Hornets with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, and was named the 2005-06 NBA Rookie of the Year.
Wonderful while at Wake
Paul attended college at Wake Forrest in his hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C. He helped the team to 48 wins in his two seasons there, which also included two NCAA Tournament berths and one Sweet 16 appearance. Despite just two years at the school, Paul ranks seventh in school history in both career assists (395) and steals (160). After his a sophomore season, Paul was a consensus First Team All-American and a finalist for the Wooden, Naismith and Rupp Player of the Year awards. After his freshman year, he was named the National Freshman of the Year by College Insider, The Sporting News, and Basketball Times.
In honor of grandpa
During Paul's senior year at West Forsyth High School in 2003 -- while he was averaging 30.8 points, 8.0 assists, 6.0 steals and 5.0 rebounds per game -- his grandfather, Nathaniel Jones, was tragically murdered. Paul scored 61 points on the day of the funeral, one for every year of his grandfather's life. He even intentionally missed a free throw to keep his total at 61. Paul told his coach, David Laton, before the game he was planning to do something to honor his grandfather, so even with the state high school scoring record -- 67 points in a single game -- well within reach, Laton took Paul out of the game to preserve the total of 61.
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