NBA star Chris Paul is crossing over into children’s books. Paul read his new book, “Long Shot: Never Too Small To Dream Big” to the kids at the NBA store in New York City.
Paul, of the New Orleans Hornets and one of the shortest players in the NBA, wrote about his journey to the NBA and how he didn’t let his small stature deter him from achieving his dream.
Like most kids growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Paul dreamed of playing for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Being such a ‘pip squeak’ most people told him he was crazy.
“Growing up at home with my brother. My older brother was always telling me ‘you can’t come and play with me and his friends.’ His friends would always tell me I couldn’t play in college, let alone the NBA. I remember going to Carowinds (amusement parks) as a kid and being too short to get on the rides,” said Paul.
Paul’s brother CJ, his manager and biggest supporter, said at the time Paul probably was too small.
“Chris was 5’6 as a sophomore (High School). Once he hit a growth spurt the sky was the limit for him, the people that played point guard… he was their size,” CJ said.
CJ still considers his brother a little guy. He is listed at “6’0” (he joked he was “6’4” on a good day) playing in the NBA where the average height is “6’7”, but feels that he just worked harder than players who were bigger than he was. “He was really, really feisty and that’s what made him head and shoulders above a whole players. He was small but he always got the job done.”
Paul used the taunts of others as motivation to prove he had skills. He attended college at Wake Forrest in North Carolina and he took every opportunity to beat the Tar Heels and let them know what they missed out on. Now, heading into his 5th season, Paul is an all-star guard. In the 05-06 season, Paul was voted Rookie of the Year, and in 2008 he was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team.
Chris Paul wants children that read his book to know that anything is possible. “Understand that the book is about basketball because it’s me and that’s what I do, but, in everything it may be school work, a job, business, anything. When people tell you it’s a long shot to get this job, and you have to start from the bottom, if you believe and you know you work hard and you put the work ethic in, anything is possible…It’s basketball for me, but for you it may be anything.”