By JOE MUSSATTO
When Chris Paul strolled into Chesapeake Energy Arena wearing a bright orange Langston University hat, Langston point guard Keeto Browne remembers his phone buzzing as pictures popped across social media.
Four months later, Oklahoma’s only historically black college or university is still buzzing after Paul’s show of support.
“It made me feel like HBCUs in general were more important than what the public eye sees,” Browne said. “Everyone was just happy to see that. That’s the best way I can explain it … happiness to see we’re being supported as a community and as a school.”
The pregame walk into the arena doubles as a fashion show in the NBA, but Paul regularly uses that platform to spark conversation and promote positive change through his clothes.
Paul has worn hats, sweatshirts, jackets and shorts representing Texas Southern, Morehouse College, Florida A&M, Prairie View A&M and Southern University — all HBCUs.
Paul went to Wake Forest, but several of his family members attended HBCUs. The Chris Paul Family Foundation donated $50,000 last April to Winston-Salem State, an HBCU in Paul’s North Carolina hometown.
“They don’t always get the same funding that a lot of other schools get,” Paul said, “so I try to bring a lot of that knowledge to the forefront because it’s education.”
On Tuesday, Paul announced a partnership with Live Nation Urban to build an internship pipeline between the company and students at North Carolina A&T. Their mission is to introduce HBCU students to the live music industry.