Chris Paul: On Point

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    Chris Paul doesn’t know how not to go hard. “I’m a competitor,” he says. “I hate for anyone to beat me, no matter what it is.” When he loses a game of Scrabble, he rewards his college-sweetheart girlfriend with the silent treatment. Not even his younger cousins are spared when playing one-on-one with the 2006 NBA Rookie of the Year. “If we play to ten, I’ll let them get to eight,” he says. “But when it’s all said and done, I’m going to win.”

    Paul’s parents drove his appetite for success. Although his high school required athletes to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, Paul and his brother were kept to a household requirement of 3.0. “My family had higher standards,” he says. “We never wanted to be average. They made me feel like I always had to work hard.”

    It’s no coincidence that Paul’s closest friends are also at the top of their games. While in college at Wake Forest, a liberal arts university in Paul’s home state of North Carolina, he struck up a friendship with multiplatinum rapper Lil’ Wayne. – HYUN KIM

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